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^^U 5X3^^ \ 'ffO 



©arbarfc College ILibrarg 



FROM THE /GIFT OF 

WILLIAM ENDICOTT, Jr. 

(Class of 1887) 
OF BOSTON 




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His tax n 



OF THE 



^parish nf Hjrtntt, 



INCLUDING THE 



PARISHES OF WINLATON, STELLA, 
AND GREENSIDE. 



BY 

WILLIAM BOURN, 

AUTHOR OF THE "HISTORY OF THE PARISH 
OF WHICKHAM," ETC. 



Carlisle : 
g. & t. coward, printers, the wordsworth press. 

MDCCCXpVI. 



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llARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY 



NOV 6 1920 
GIFT OF 
WILLIAM ENDICOTT.JR. 



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THIS WORK 



IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED 



TO 



JOSEPH COWEN, ESQ., 



OF STELLA HALL, 



By THE AUTHOR. 



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ERR A TA. 



Page 31, for Lambly read Lambley. 
,. 50, for Wallace read Wallis. 
„ 78, last line, for Potter read Porter. 
„ 139, for 1888 read 1838. 



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PREFACE. 



Several of the chapters in this work were contributed to the 
Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, while others formed parts of Lectures 
delivered before local societies by the Author. Several of the 
literary friends of the Author, whose opinions are highly esteemed, 
recommended their re-publication in book form; hence the 
present volume. 

No apology need be offered for its appearance, as no account of 
the Parish exists in a popular and convenient form. 

The facts embodied in this work have been secured after no 
inconsiderable labour on the part of the Author, who has drawn 
from all sources available to him. Having visited every part of 
the Parish about which he writes, he now offers all the facts 
relating to its history, antiquities, traditions and folk-lore which 
he collected, to the public, and hopes thereby to enable those 
who live in the neighbourhood to appreciate the rich stores of 
historical remains around them, and to find their way to such 
places of interest as they may wish to inspect. 



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Vlll. 

The writer desires to express his thanks to the Editor of the 
Newcastle Weekly Chronicle for nine of the illustrations; to Mr. 
Robert Barrass, Rembrandt Studio, 180 Westgate Road, for 
Photo of Sir Henry Augustus Oavering, Bart.; to Canon Baily, 
Rector of Ryton, for the use of the Parish Register, and for 
assisting him in other ways; to Mr. W. W. Thomlinson, and to 
Mr. G. R. Ramsay. 

In conclusion, the Author will gratefully receive any suggestions 
that may tend to the improvement of the present work, and the 
correction in a future edition of any errors that may perchance 
have found their way into its pages. 

WILLIAM BOURN. 

Whickham, 

March \*jth, 1896. 



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CONTENTS. 



Ryton 


Page 
1 


The Church 


3 


The Rectory 


17 


The Churchyard 


26 


Bequests to the Poor ... 


.... 30 


Ryton Burnt by the Scots 


31 


The Scots again at Ryton 


32 


The Market Cross 


33 


Ryton in 1895 


35 


Bar (Bare) Moor 


43 


Crawcrook... 


45 


Pethhead ... 


52 


Greenside ... 


54 


Coalburns ... 


57 


Ryton Woodside 


60 


Stella 


63 


Stella Hall 


71 


Battle of Stella Haughs 


74 


Cromwell at Stella 


80 


Stella House 


81 


The Coal Trade 


83 


TheStaiths 


85 


The Catholic Chapel 


87 


The Cowen Family 


90 


Biaydon 


99 



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■**' Page 

Blaydon Church ... ... ... ... ... 103 

Blaydon and District Co-operative Literary Iuatitute ... 106 

Blaydon Co-operative Society ... ... .. ... 106 

Winlaton . . ... ... ... ... ... Ill 

Freemasonry at Winlaton ... ... ... ... 127 

Winlaton Subscription Library ... ... ... ... 128 

Winlaton in 1895 ... ... ... ... ... 130 

Church (St. Paul's) ... ... ... ... ... 138 

Park Head Hall ... ... ... ... ... 143 

Winlaton Mill ... ... ... ... ... 147 

Blaydon Burn ... ... ... ... ... 152 

Thornley ... ... ... ... ... ... 156 

Barlow ... ... ... ... ... ... 159 

Spen (High) ... ... ... ... ... 161 

Spen (Low) .. ... ... ... ... 162 

Chopwell Township ... ... ... ... ... 164 

Blackhall Mill ... ... .. ... ... 168 

Axwell Park ... ... ... ... ... 171 

The Claverings ... ... ... ... ... 175 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

v Frontispiece — Ryton Green. 

JRyton Church ... ... ... ... ... 4 

V Ryton Ferry ... ... ... ... ... 41 

/Stella Hall ... ... ... ... ... 72 

/ Stella Chapel ... ... ... ... ... 86 

j- Old House in Back Street, Winlaton ... ... ... 110 

v A Bit of Winlaton .. ... ... ... 130 

v Winlaton Mill ... ... ... ... ... 146 

„ Axwell Park ... ... ... ... ... 170 

Sir Henry A. Clavering ... ... ... ... 176 



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Hiatnrj ai % |)arislj al ftjjtntt* 



RYTON. 



The village of Ryton gives name to this Parish and the township 
in which it is situated. The village occupies a lofty and beautiful 
situation on the south banks of the Tyne, seven miles west of 
Newcastle. The Newcastle and Carlisle Railway runs along the 
foot of the hill on the north side of the village, where there is a 
railway station. The name Ryton is probably derived from rye= 
water, and fon = a. settlement hedged in and protected from 
intruders. 

The Parish of Ryton was anciently very extensive. It was 
bounded on the north and north-east by the river Tyne, till its 
junction with the Derwent at Derwenthaugh, which divided Ryton 
from Whickham, and from the chapelries of Tanfield and Med- 
omsley on the south, till the junction of the Milkwell Burn and 
Derwent on the south-west ; the Milkwell Burn, a short imaginary 
line, and the Stanley Burn, flowing northwards, and falling into the 
Tyne near Bradley Mill, completed the western boundary. The 
Parish, which formed almost a triangle, was originally subdivided 
into six constableries, viz: i, Ryton; 2, Ryton Woodside; 3, Craw- 
crook (including Bradley); 4, Stella; 5, Winlaton (including 
Blaydon, Thornley, Spen, and Axwell); '6, Chopwell (which 
includes Blackhall Mill, Milkwell Burn, Ravenside, Armondside, 
Hugergate, and other tenements). Winlaton parish was formed 
from Ryton on November 6th> 1832 ; Stella parish in August, 

2 



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1844; and Greenside parish on May 6th, 1886. Ryton Parish 
now comprises the township of Ryton, with the villages of Ryton, 
Addison, and Stargate. 

Population of the township of Ryton: 1801, 432; 181 1, 462; 
1821, 445; 1831, 590; 1841, 677; 1851, 739; 1861, 1140; 
1871, 1939; 188 1, 3036; 1891, 3393. 

Area, 1200 acres. Rateable value in 1821, ^1,882; and in 
1894, ,£16,452. The principal proprietors of land are Sir 
Alexander Kinlock; Joseph Cowen, Esq.; James Hindmarsh, Esq.; 
William R. Lamb, Esq.; the Rector of Ryton ; Archibald M. 
Dunn, Esq.; Townely Trustees ; Mrs. Thorp ; John B. Simpson, 
Esq.; and the Stella Coal Company. 

The manor of Ryton formerly belonged to the See of Durham, 
under which the greater part of the lands were held by lease or 
copy of court-roll. Under Boldon Book, 11 83, "the men of Ryton 
held the vill on lease, with the demesne, the assize rent, the mill, 
and the service due (from the villeins), with a stock of one draught 
and two harrows, and twenty chalder of oats of the bishop's 
measure, and the fisheries ; they pay fourteen pounds rent, make 
ladings like the men of Whickham, and, jointly with Crawcrook, 
provide the carriage of one ton of wine. The punder (keeper of 
the pinfold) has five acres and the thraves like other punders, and 
renders thirty hens and two hundred eggs. The villeins pay 
twenty-four hens and two hundred eggs." 

In a Roll of Bishop Bek, 1283 — 1310, there is an entry of 10s. 
for "repairing mill" at Ryton. 

Hatfield's Survey, 1345 — 1381, mentions three free tenements, 
held by the Rector of Ryton, Thomas Gategang, and John Stepyng. 
An inquisition was taken at Gateshead in 1344, stating that from 
time beyond the memory of man there existed a fishery near 
Ryton called the Blaklough, to the westward of Tyne bridge, 
belonging to the Bishop of Durham. 

The Common, belonging to the manor of Ryton, was extremely 
extensive, and its boundaries towards Chopwell were the subject 
of litigation as early as 1562. A division of Ryton Moor bears 
date 1 6th September, 1638 ; the whole of the allotments are stated 
to be held of the See by copy of court roll under fourpence an acre 
rent ; the mines were reserved to the See, with the usual clauses 
of compensation for damage to the tenant of the soil in working ; 



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and twenty acres were allotted to the manor mill, to provide horses 
for fetching the corn. 

In 1699, the division of Ryton Broomfields and High Hedgefield 
took place. The Broomfields contained 100 acres, and High 
Hedgefields 6 1 a. 1 r. 5 p. Both were copyhold lands, were held 
in common, and divided by twenty-one tenants. The acres allowed 
to each varied from 25 acres assigned to William Jolly, down to 
3 roods 25 perches to John Humble. 

In 1690, Ryton West Field, West Crofts, East Field, and Low 
Hedgefield, in all 400 acres, were divided. These lands were 
held in common, and divided by thirty-six people whose names are 
set down in the award, and who are all described as owners by 
copy of Court Roll, according to the custom of the manor of 
Ryton. 107 acres fell to Sir Thomas Tempest, and other portions 
varying from 34 acres to an acre, to other owners. 

The Church. 

" Ye holy walls, that still sublime, 
Resist the crumbling touch of time. " 

Ryton Church (Holy Cross) stands at the western extremity of 
the village, and its situation is extremely picturesque and attractive. 
The edifice consists of chancel, nave with north and south aisles, 
south porch, and a western tower surmounted by an octangular 
spire, covered with lead. The chancel is forty-four feet long by 
eighteen feet three inches wide, and is entered on the south side 
by an old square-headed doorway, with curious carvings on the 
angles. There is within the altar-rails, on the south side, a square- 
headed piscina with a projecting basin. At the west end of the 
chancel, on the south side, is a low side window, built up on the 
outside. These windows are sometimes called "leper" windows, 
it being the opinion of some authorities that they were used for 
administering the holy sacrament to lepers. Between the door 
and the low side window, there is a slab inserted in the wall with 
the following inscription : — 

BERNARD OBIITQVA 

GILPINRE RTODIEM 

CTORHV ARTIIAN 

IVSECCLLLE DOM. 1583 



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" Bernard Gilpin, rector of this (Houghton) Church, who died 4th 
day of March, 1583." There is inscribed underneath the above: — 
"From Bernard Gilpin's monument in Houghton-le-Spring Church, 
dated A.D. 1583. Charles Thorp. 1828." 

Within the altar rails, on the north side, there is a fine effigy in 
Stanhope marble. The length of the figure is five feet nine inches. 
The effigy is described by Surtees as that of a Benedictine monk ; 
but Mr. J. R. Boyle, in describing it, says: — **He wears the alb, 
and over this the dalmatic. The sleeves of the former (monk) are 
close-fitting, whilst those of the latter (deacon) are loose. On the 
right side, beneath the dalmatic, are the extremities of the stole. 
From the left wrist hangs the maniple. The head, which rests on 
a cushion, and is further supported by two small figures of angels, 
is tonsured. The hands hold a book, on the back of which a bird, 
possibly a dove, is carved. The feet rest on a lion. This effigy 
is of especial interest from the extreme rarity of effigies of ecclesi- 
astics who had not attained the order of the priesthood. The 
effigy is probably of late thirteenth century date." There is an 
aumbrey within the altar-rails, in the north wall. The handsome 
altar table is of oak ; on the front of it is inscribed : — "The offering 
of Charles Thorp, Rector, A.D. 1849." In tne nortn wal1 of the 
chancel, opposite the priest's door, is the entrance to the vestry, 
which formerly consisted of two apartments; but, in 1888 part of 
the old vestry was converted into an organ chamber, and by 
means of a pointed arch in the north wall, the organ faces the 
chancel. The chancel is stalled with oak; on the end of one o 
the stalls is carved a dolphin embowered inter three crosses repeated, 
supposed to be the arms of the Rev. William James, rector of 
Ryton from 16 17 till the usurpation. There is on the left side of 
the vestry door a quaint carving of the Nativity, with the inscrip- 
tion, "C. Thorp, 1826." A fine old chair stands within the altar 
rails, on which is inscribed "T.T. 1662." The initials are probably 
those of Sir Thomas Tempest, and the chair a gift to the church. 
Previous to 1844 the east window was a square of five lights, but 
in that year the old window was removed, and a pointed window 
of three lights was inserted. 

Underneath the window, and above the communion table, is 
a handsome reredos, carved in oak. In the centre is represented 
The Descent from the Cross ; on the left side, Christ bearing the 



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6 

Cross ; and on the right, Christ on Calvary. At the extreme right 
is Moses, pointing to the Brazen Serpent in the Wilderness ; and at 
the extreme left Abraham and Isaac, journeying to Mount Moriah. 
Formerly there were in the south wall of the chancel six pointed 
lights ; afterwards, the window at the east end was altered into 
one of two lights, with central shaft, and round-headed. The 
chancel arch, which rests on corbels, is pointed, and plain in 
design. A screen of old oak, carved in open tracery, roses, 
quatrefoils, and foliage, encloses the chancel. The nave is forty- 
five feet by nineteen feet; the tower at the west end seventeen 
feet by seventeen feet ; and the north and south aisles each eleven 
feet wide, including the pillars, and extending the full length of 
the nave and tower, viz., sixty-eight feet Each aisle is formed by 
two pillars supporting pointed- arches, the groins of which are 
ornamented with sculptured heads. The western pillars are plain 
cylinders, those to the east octagonal. The walls of the aisles and 
porch have been raised several feet, and a parapet added, probably 
about the end of the fourteenth century. The body of the church 
would then present a different appearance to what it does now, 
as the high-pitched roof came down in one continuous slope over 
the aisles, as may be seen by examining the east gable of the 
nave. 

Hutchinson states that the wall of the south aisle was rebuilt in 
1627 ; but the historian is clearly mistaken, as the most casual 
observer may see. The tower is engaged, and of three stages. In 
the lowest stage there is a lancet twenty feet high, and two feet four 
inches wide, which is the only window in the body of the church 
which remains unaltered. In the second stage, which is twenty- 
two feet square, is the clock. A brass plate on the clock bears 
the inscription: — "Erected September, 1881, by Subscription by 
Parishioners and Friends, in Memory of William Webb, Rector of 
Ryton 1862 — 1878." This stage is lighted by a single lancet in 
the north, west, and south sides. The third stage contains the 
bells. In 1763 three new bells were ordered to replace three old 
bells. Two of the bells bear the inscription : " Lester and Pack 
of London, fecit 1763 ;" the third : "Recast by John Warner and 
Son, 1868 ;" and a fourth : " In loving Memory of Charles Baring. 
Cast by John Warner and Son, 1881." The entrance to the tower 
is by a door in the second stage, which is reached by a spiral 



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staircase of oak, erected in 1886. This staircase replaced one 
probably erected in 1746, for on April 25th of that year, the "four- 
and-twenty agreed with Ralph Hawdon and William Waddle, for 
three pounds and ten shillings and the old ladder, to make a 
staircase to the belfry." 

The spire of the church is formed of a complicated framework 
of oak timber, and is covered with sheets of lead, placed diagonally, 
and carefully overlapped. The spire underwent extensive repairs 
in 175 1, and in 1877 was again substantially repaired, and much 
defective lead removed and renewed. The total height of the 
tower and spire is one hundred and twenty feet six inches, and not 
one hundred and eight feet, as stated by all the historians of 
Durham. The weather-cock Dears the date 1835. The tower 
terminates with a corbel table. Several of the corbels are carved 
with conventional foliage of early character. On the east side of 
the tower is a large piece of sculpture representing St. George 
subduing the Dragon. The tower is open to the nave and aisles 
by pointed arches, each of two chamfered orders. .All the arches 
rest on moulded corbels, in five out of the six of which the nail- 
head ornament appears. All the tower arches have hood mouldings. 
The label of the arch which opens to the nave terminates in carved 
heads, one of which has a barrel-shaped object in its mouth. 
There are half-straining arches from the east wall of the tower to 
the walls of the aisles. These are of two chamfered orders, and 
rest on corbels in the aisle walls. In both these corbels are found 
the nail-headed ornament. 

The porch has a richly- moulded doorway ; formerly the roof 
would slope down the same as the roof of the church. About the 
middle of the last century the roof of the nave was thatched with 
straw, which was burnt, and replaced by one of lower pitch, covered 
with lead; this roof was covered with slates in 1816. The nave 
and aisle roofs were restored and raised to their original pitch in 
1877, and were covered with green Westmorland slates, except the 
north aisle roof, which was covered with the old slates from the 
nave roof. The roof of the chancel was restored to its original 
pitch by Archdeacon Thorp, and the flat ceiling allowed to 
remain. In 1886, the chancel was beautified by the present oak 
ceiling. 

Formerly, the south wall of the church contained lancets, which 



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8 

were replaced by sash windows; in 1812 these were removed, and 
the present windows inserted. 

About the year 1813, the nave and aisles were re-pewed ; and in 
1 886, they were again filled with seats made of oak. On the south 
side of the chancel is a buttress on which grotesque heads are 
carved. Above the entrance of the porch is an old sun-dial, 
mutilated, and without any date. Only the word Pereunt remains 
on the stone. Originally the inscription was : "Pereunt et impu- 
tantur." (The hours pass and are reckoned.) 

The font is a large stone basin supported by a pedestal, and 
is described by Surtees as ancient. In the church books there is 
the following entry: •' 1662. Paid for the fonte and lading, and 
for drink for the men that helped to set it, £2 3s. 6d." If Surtees 
is correct as to the antiquity of the font — and we think he is — may 
t it not be inferred from the above entry, that the font was removed 
at the time when John Weld (intruder,) became rector, and taken 
back to the church in the time of Ralph Blakiston, who became 
rector in 1660. 

The pulpit is of oak, octagonal in form, artistically designed, 
and ornamented with carved tracery, and stands on a pedestal of 
Caen stone, adorned with marble shafts. At each angle, under a 
niche, is a sculptured figure, representing the Venerable Bede, 
St. Cuthbert, St. Aidan, St. Helena, and the Emperor Constantine. 
In design and execution the pulpit displays admirable workman- 
ship. 

In the year 1703, a gallery was erected at the west end of the 
nave, by Sir Ambrose Crowley, for the use of his workmen who 
attended Ryton church. There were other galleries — at the north- 
east end of the nave, and over the aisles — all of which were 
removed in 1846. Formerly a stall was enclosed on the south 
side of the church for the owners of Chopwell, and another on the 
north side for the house of Stella. At one time there was a door 
eight feet six inches high and five feet wide, on the north side of 
the church, which is now built up. The style of architecture is 
of one period, Early English or Lancet, and the date of the erection 
of the church may be ascribed to the early part of the thirteenth 
century (1220). 

In early times there was a chantry in the church dedicated to 
the Virgin ; its foundation is unknown. Ralph Eure, the bishop's 



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9 

escheater in 1425, mentions five shillings, the tenth of a messuage, 
and eighteen acres called St. Mary's Land, given by the Lord of 
Crawcrook to St. Mary's Altar, in Ryton Church, in mortmain 
without license. 

On September 13th, 1498, John Saunders of Ryton granted a 
cottage, three acres and a plot of ground, to William Clark and his 
successors, chaplain of St. Mary's Altar, for the perpetual main- 
tenance of a light before the image of the Virgin. 

The church possesses several windows of stained glass. The 
altar window contains in the centre light the figure of Christ on 
the Cross ; and those on the right and left, scenes connected with 
the Crucifixion. Underneath is the inscription: "Dedicated to 
the Glory of God, in loving Memory of Emma Easton, by her 
sister Emily." On the south side, at the east end of the chancel, 
there are two windows ; one containing the figures of St. Luke and 
St. Matthew, and the other the Baptism of our Lord. Underneath 
is the inscription : " Mary Ann Thorp, died April 1st, 1839 ; 
Robert Thorp, died April 7th, 1847." There are other three 
memorial windows in the south side of the chancel to members of 
the Thorp family. In the south aisle are two : one containing the 
figures of St. Thomas and St. John ; the other St. Bartholomew 
and St. Philip. Under the tower a high single light containing 
the figure of St. Paul, bears the inscription : " Church Offering at 
Christmas, Anno Domini, 1848." 

In the north aisle there are two windows of stained glass, one 
of which represents Christ Blessing little Children ; underneath is 
inscribed : " In Memory of Margaret Isabella, the beloved wife of 
Thomas Spencer of the Grove, Ryton, who died in Madeira, 
December 20th, 1865, aged twenty-two years." The other is a 
window of two lights, containing the figures of St. Mary and 
St. John, underneath which is the following inscription : " To the 
Glory of God, and in Memory of John Easton of Layton Manor, 
Yorkshire, who died 14th August, 1880, aged seventy-seven years. 
Erected by his sisters Emily and Matilda." 

The walls of the church contain several mural tablets. In the 
north wall of the chancel are : — 

1. White marble on black marble slab. 

Frances Wilkie Thorp, 
Wife of Charles Thorp, m.a., 



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10 



Rector of this Parish. 

The only child of 

Henry Collingwood Selby, Esq., 

Died a few months after marriage, 

the 21st of April, 1811, aged Twenty years. 

2. White marble on black slab. 

In the vault beneath are placed 

the remains of 

Robert Thorp, d.d., 

Archdeacon of Northumberland, 

And sometime rector of this Parish, 

Who departed this life in the blessed 

hope of immortality through Jesus Christ, 

the xx. day April, i8r*2, in his 76 year. 

Grace Thorp, wife of Robert Thorp, 

Died 3 August, 1814, aged 70 years. 

3. White marble. 

Near to this place lies interred 

the body oi the Rev. John Lloyd, a.m., 

late rector of this Parish. He departed 

this life on the 15th day of September, 

in the year of our Lord, 1765, 

in the 56th year of his age. 

Most justly lamented by his family and 

friends, nor less by his parishioners, 

whom he had endeared himself to, 

by every act of affection and duty. 

By his unlimited benevolence and charity, 

and, by a constant attention to the duties 

of his sacred function, through a course 

of 27 years, during which he was their 

Minister. He was the eldest son of the 

Rev. William Lloyd, d.d., 

Sometime since Chancellor of the 

Diocese of Worcester, and grandson 

of William Lloyd, the Bishop 

of that Diocese. Distinguished in the 

age he lived, for his extensive learning, 



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11 



but more for his fervent zeal for the 

Protestant Religion, and for the rights 

and liberties of his Country, which he 

supported with unshaken fidelity. 

The deceased married Mary, the 

daughter of the Rev. Robert Lightfoot, a.m., 

Rector of Deal, in the County of Kent, 

by whom he left issue three daughters, 

Elizabeth, Catherine, and Mary. 

Near this place lies interred 

Mr. John Simpson, of Bradley, 

and Jane, his wife. 

John died Dec. 31st, 1732, aged 52 ; 

and by his will left to the poor 

of Ryton ;£6o, with interest of which 

to be distributed by the Rector every 

23rd of December; as also ^50, to 

All Saints Charity School, in 

Newcastle. Jane, daughter of 

Henry Anderson, Esq., died Nov. 23, 

1748, aged 66 years. 

He.left issue two sons, John, and Francis. 

To the memory of 

George Thorp, r.n., 

Fourth Son of Robert Thorp, d.d., 

Who being First Lieutenant of the 

Terpsichore Frigate of the Squadron 

of Com : Wilson, fell with Captain 

Bowen, and many men, upon the 

Mole Battery of Santa Cruz, 

Teneriffe, the xxiv. day of June, a.d. mdccxcvii. 

in his twentieth year, and was 

buried in the deep. 



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6. White marble on black slab. 

In the family vault near 

this place lie the remains of 

John Simpson, Esq., of Bradley Hall, 

who departed this life April 24th, 1786. 

And Ann, his wife, who departed Aug. 4th, 1783. 

She was the only child of Richard Clutterbuck, 

Esq., Warworth, in Northumberland. 

. By his second wife Eleanor Collyer, 

they had issue twelve children. 

This small tribute of filial affection 

to the best of parents is erected by their 

two surviving daughters, Eleanor, the 

wife of John Ord, Esq., and Ann Simpson. 

7- 

This Tablet and the Clock in the tower 

of the Church, are erected by his friends 

and parishioners in affectionate 

Remembrance of Rev. William Webb, m.a., 

for sixteen years rector of this Parish, 

who died April 15th, 1878, aged 74 years, 

And was interred in a vault in the Churchyard. 

" Blessed are the dead which die in 

the Lord." — Rev. xix., ver. 10. 

8. A brass plate. 

A.M. D.G. 

In the year of our Lord 

MDCCCLXXXVI. 

The following works were carried out 

in this church. New vestries and organ 

chamber built. New organ set up. New 

hot heating apparatus. New staircase to 

Belfry. New Inner Porch. New Oak Ceiling 

to Chancel. New stained glass east window. 

New gas fittings. New Reredos, Pulpit, Litany 

Desk, and complete oak seating for the Nave 

and Aisles. Such of the old seating as was 

sound was worked up to form the inner 



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Porch and the panelling round the walls. 
The whole cost of these works was defrayed 
by Thomas Spencer, Esquire, of the Grove, Ryton, 
and Miss Emily M. Easton, of Nest House, 
Gateshead, and Layton Manor, Yorkshire. 
T. H. Chester, m.a., Rector. 
C. E. Blackett Ord, m.a., Curate. 
John Richardson, I 

William Rutherford Lamb, I Churchwardens. 
Robert J. Johnston, Architect 

Within the altar rails, and fixed to the north wall, are five small 
brass'plates. Three of them are inscribed as follows : — 

<o 

FRANC' THE THIRD SONNE OF RICHARD BVNNV OF 
NEWLAND NEERE WAKEFIELD ESQVIER, & OF BRIDGET 
RESTWOVLD OF YE VACH IN BVCKINGHASHIRE OF VERY 
WORLL PARENTAGE, WIFE TO THE SAIDE RICHARD BVNNY J 
WAS INDVCTED INTO THIS PSONAGE OF RYTON AO 1578 SEPT. 
13 AND HAD FIVE CHILDREN, ELIZABATH THE ELDEST BEING 
MARIED TO WILLM FENAY OF FEN AY NEERE ALMONBVRY IN YORK- 
SHIRE, DIED WTHOVT ISSVE & LYETH BVRIED IN YORK IN YE QVYER 
OF ALLHALLOWES CHVRCH j IOHN THE ELDEST SONNE, HENRY 
THE THIRD SONNE, MATHEW THE FOURTH SONNE, DIED VERY 
YOVNG & WER ALL BVRIED IN THIS QVIER OF RYTON CHVRCH 
WHER ALSO LYETH FRANCIS YE SECOND SONE OF FRANCIS 
AFORESAID WHOSE MONVMENT THIS IS: HE MARRIED MARY 
DAVGHTER A SOLE HEIRE OF IOHN WORTLEY SECOND BROTHER 
OF S* RICHARD WORTLEY OF WORTLEY KNIGHT : HE DIED W™0VT 
ISSVE FEB. 26 AO l6lO BEING MORE THEN 26 YEARES OLDE. 
HE WAS BORNE AO 1584 NOVEM : 9. 

I WAS SOMETIME BVT NOW I AM 

AND SHALL LIVE THVS FOR AYE 
I AM I SAY IN IOY THAT LASTS 
AND NEVER SHALL DECAY. 
I WAS; BVT THEN I DID BVT DREAM 

MY PLEASVRES WERE BVT PAINE 
MY IOYES WERE SHORT AND MIXT WITH GREIF 
ADEW THEN LIFE SO VAINE. 



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(O 

FRANCIS BVNNY BORNE MAY THE 8TH aO 1543 
BEGAN TO PREACH GOD*S WORD NOVEMB& THE 
FIRST ANO 1567, INDVCTED INTO A P'BEND 
AT DVRHAM THE 9TH OF MAY ANNO 1572, 
MADE ARCHDEACON OF NORTHVMBERLAND 
AO 1573 OCTR Y* 20 AND THE XlTH OF SEPT: AO 
1578 MADE RECTOR OF RYTON ; HAVING BVRIED 
HERE HIS 4 SONES, AND HIS DAVGHTER AT YORKE 
HASTENETH TO HEAVEN AFTER THEM AND TRIVM 
PHING FOR HOPE OF IMMORTALITIE SAITH, THYS — 
MY BARKE NOW HAVING WONNE YE HAVEN 

I FEARE NO STORMY SEAS 
GOD IS MY HOPE, MY HOME IS HEAVEN 

MY LIFE IS HAPPY EASE 
THIS HOPE THIS HOME THIS LIFE MOST SWEET 

WHO SOE WILL SEEK TO WINNE 
MVST BID ADIEWE TO ALL DELIGHTS 
THE SOWER ROOTS OF SINNE 

Obijt 16 Die Aprill 1617 

(3) 

Henry Iohn ye 

ye sone of sonne of 



Francis Bunny and 
lane his wyfe 



I we were and shal be | 
Borne Ian : xj. Born IvL xj. 

Ano 1585 died Ao 1582 died 

Sept. 25 Ao 1588 Oct 14 158 . 

The two remaining brasses bear escutcheons of arms painted 
upon them. One bears the Bunny shield of nine quarters, impaling 
the shield of Wortley. The other bears only the Bunny shield. 
Inside of the communion rails are two brass plates : — 

(1) 

Robert Alder Thorp, b.d„ 

Fellow of Christ Church College, Oxford. 

Died May 23rd, a.d. mdcccxxxii. 

Aged xxxiv. years. 



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Mary Ann Thorp, 

Wife of 

Robert Thorp, Esq., 

of Alnwick,. 

Died April ist, a.d. mdcccxxxix. 

Aged lxx. years. 

Robert Thorp, Esq., 

of Alnwick and of Chop well Hall, 

Died April vil, a.d. mdcccxliii. 

Aged lxxi. years. 

Robert Thorpe, d.d., 

Died April xx. a.d. mdcccxii. 

Aged lxxvi. years. 

Grace Thorp, 

Widow of Robert Thorp 

and 

Daughter of William Alder, Esq., 

of Horncliff on Tweed, 

Died August in., a.d. mdcccxiv. 

Aged lxx. years. 

(»> 

Francis Wilkie Thorp, 

Died April xxi., a.d. mdcccxi. 

Aged xx. years. 

Charles Thorp, d.d., f.r.s., 

Archdeacon of Durham, 

55 years Rector of Ryton, 

Died Oct. x, a.d. mdccclxii. 

Aged lxxix. years. 

In the floor of the chancel, opposite to the entrance, is the vault 
of Robert Thorp. 

Fixed in the wall of the north aisle is a monument of white 
marble, which bears the arms of the Tempest and Lambton 
families. Underneath is the following : — 

Sepulturse consecratum Nicholai Tempest de Stella, militis 
& baronetti (qui obijt Ano D'n mdcxxv setatis suae lxxiii) et 
Isabellas uxoris suae charissimae, filiae Gulielmi Lambton de 



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Lambton armigeri: quae quatuor filios, et totidem filias, illi 
peperit, et obiit Ano D'n mdcxxiii aetatis suae lxxi. Ilia per tot 
annos praemoriens, quot illi praenatus erat. E liberis eorum sunt 
superstites Thomas, Henricus, Isabella, uxor Bertrami Bulmer de 
Tyrlesden, militis. — Jana relicta Thomae Chaitor de Butrobee, 
armigeri— Et Margareta uxor Gilberti Errington de Ponteland, 
armiger. — Parentibus optimis et suavissimis Thomas Tempest 
baronettus, eorum Alius, observantiae et amoris ergo, sibique et 
suis mortalitatis memor, hoc posuit Filius extruxit tumulum, 
pia sacra parentum. Lambton erat matris, Stella domusque patris. 
Miles erat Ni'olas Tempest, pater et baronettus Isabella fuit mater; 
amore pares. Octo illis liberi sexu aequo: Septuaginta, Ultro 
viverunt, et cecidere pares. 

Translation : — 

Consecrated to the burial of Nicholas Tempest, of Stella, 
Soldier and Baronett (who died in the year of our Lord 1625, at 
the age of 73) ; and of Isabella, his very dear wife, the daughter 
of William Lambton, of Lambton, Knight, who bore him four sons, 
and just as many daughters, and died in the year of our Lord 
1623, at the age of 71. In this way she died before him by as 
many years as he had been born before her. Of their children 
there survived Thomas, Henry, Isabella, wife of Bertram Bulmer, 
of Tyrlesden, Soldier ; Jane, relict of Thomas Chaitor, of Butrobe, 
Knight ; and Margaret, wife of Gilbert Errington, of Ponteland, 
Knight. To the most upright and sweetest parents their son 
Thomas Tempest, Baronett, out of respect and love, .and mindful 
of mortality, placed this for himself and his. The son erected a 
monument, a devout offering for his parents. Lambton was the 
home of his mother, and Stella of his father. Nicholas Tempest 
was a soldier, father, and baronett, Isabella was the mother; in 
affection they are equal. They had eight children (four) of each 
sex. They lived over 70 years, and both died. 

A small tablet on the west side bears the arms of the Tempests. 

On a tablet of white marble on black slab is the following : — 

In a vault near this church 

are deposited the remains of 

Joseph Lamb, youngest son 

of Joseph and Sarah Lamb, of 



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Ryton House, County of Durham, Esq., 

born Dec. nth, 1781, died Oct 8th, 1859. 

Upright, Affable, Benevolent, 

esteemed alike in public and private life, 

he died lamented by his family, and 

regretted by all. His trust was in the mercy 

of God, through the merits of his Redeemer, 

that he might live for ever in the Kingdom 

of Heaven. 

This tablet was erected to his memory, 

by his widow and family, to whom he 

was greatly endeared 

Against the west end of the south aisle is a marble slab, bearing 
the arms of the Humble family. Arms : a stag trippant, a chief 
indented. Crest: a stag's head erased. Underneath is the 
inscription: — 

Frances, the Wife 

of John Humble, 

Obt. 3 Octr., 1754, aged 58. 

A brass fixed in the floor, at the west end of the nave, is a 
memorial to the Lambs of Ryton House. 

The achievement or hatchment at the east end of the south aisle 
is that of Marie Susanah (Lady Ravensworth), who died Nov. 
22nd, 1845, aged 73 years; and that at the west end, of 
Simpson, and Anderson of Bradley, Arms : Gules, a fesse inter two 
lions passamt Or, Simpson, impaling, Gules, three oak-trees Argent, 
Anderson. 



Ryton Rectory. 

Patron : the Bishop of Durham. The Rectory is valued in the 
King's Books at ^42 10s. iod.; Tenths, £4 5s. id; Episc. 
pro. 18s.; Arichid. Proa, 3s.; Gross income, ^1049. The tithes 
were commuted in 1823. The parish register commences in 1588. 
Rectors: Magister William de Marghe, 1254; Alan de Esyngwald, 
1300; John de Botheby, 131 2; Nich. Gategang, 1334; William 
de Olby, 1342; P. M. Gategang; John de Wyndlynburgh, 1378; 

3 



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Thos. de Gretham, 1382 ; John de Burgh, 1402 ; Richard Moor, 
1407 ; John de Nepotiis; John Wynname, 1497 ; Robert Davell, 
ll.d.; Anthony Salvayne, s.t.b., 1555; Win. Garnet, a. b., 1558; 
John Bold, 1577; F. Bunny, a.m., 1578; William James, a.m., 
1 61 7; John Weld (an intruder); Ralph Blakiston, 1660; William 
Cave, S.T.B., 1676; Mailn Sorsby; Thos. Seeker, a.m., 1727; 
Robert Stillingfleet, a.m., 1733; John Lloyd, a. m., 1738; John 
Rotheram, A.M., 1766; Hon. Richard Byron, a.m., 1769; Robert 
Thorp, 1795; Charles Thorp, 1807; William Webb, 1862; 
William C. Streatfield, 1878; Edward Prest, 1880; Thomas H. 
Chester, 1883 ; Johnson Baily, 1891. 

In 1 3 14, Bishop Kellaw pronounced a decree betwixt the 
Hospital of Kepyer and the rector of Ryton, viz., that Hugh de 
Montalt, master of Kepyer, and his successors, should continue 
to enjoy an annual composition of two marks, payable by the 
rector, in lieu of one moiety of tithe of corn of the bishop's 
demesne lands within the whole parish of Ryton, and should in 
consideration of such annual payment and perception, celebrate 
solemn mass with Placabo and Dirige for the soul of Bishop 
Anthony. 

Bishop Fordham granted licence to Thomas de Gretham, 
rector of Ryton, to carry an aqueduct from Southwell through the 
bishop's ground to the rectory. Bishop Skirlaw confirmed the 
grant to John Burgh, Gretham's successor, in 1405. 

At a general array of the clergy in Gilesgate Moor, in 1400, the 
rector, Thomas de Gretham, was charged with one lance and three 
archers, being rated in the same proportion with the rectors of 
Whickham and Gateshead. 

Francis Bunny, third son of Richard Bunny, Esq., of Newland 
Hall, near Wakefield, and of Bridget his wife, was born 8th May, 
1543. He became a student of the University in the latter end of 
the reign of Queen Mary, and Fellow of Magdalen College in 1562. 
He was afterwards chaplain to the Earl of Bedford, and in 1578 
became rector of Ryton. He is described by Surtees as a great 
admirer of John Calvin, a constant preacher, charitable, and a stiff 
enemy to Popery. Bunny was the author of four polemical 
works, of "A Plain and Familiar Exposition of the Ten Command- 
ments," and of an " Exposition on Joel," dedicated to Tobie, 
Bishop of Durham, in which the author saith, " he had preached 



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sermons at Berwick twenty years ago (1595), of which the book is 
the summe ; which, if printed, would contain about three quire o 
paper." 

William Cave, born in 1637, became rector of Ryton in 1676. 
He was a learned divine of the Church of England, and wrote 
several works, relating chiefly to the early times of Christianity. 
His best known and highly valued works are "Lives of the 
Apostles," "Lives of the Fathers," and "Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum 
Historia Literaria." 

Thomas Seeker was born in 1693, and was educated for the 
Dissenting ministry at the Dissenting College of Tewkesbury, 
Butler, the future bishop of Durham, being his companion there. 
Scruples prevented him from prosecuting the design of his youth, 
and he was preparing for the medical profession when he was 
induced to obtain ordination in the church from Bishop Talbot, of 
Durham. Seeker was a very popular preacher, and was quickly 
promoted. After being rector of Ryton, he became successively 
Bishop of Bristol and of Oxford, and in 1758 he became 
Archbishop of Canterbury. 

John Rotheram was the son of the Rev. William Rotheram, 
head-master of the Grammar School, Haydon Bridge. John was 
born on June 22nd, 1725. After completing his education at 
the Grammar School under his father, he became, in 1745, a 
member of Queen's College, Oxford. He took his bachelor's 
degree, and was ordained deacon and priest in the year 1749. 
In the year 1751 he became assistant to his brother, Thomas 
Rotheram, at Codrington College, in the island of Barbadoes. 
Returning home he was, in 1760, unanimously elected Fellow of 
University College. In 1766 he became rector of Ryton; and in 
1769 he was presented to the rectory of Houghton-le-Spring. In 
1779 he obtained the vicarage of Seaham, and was made chaplain 
to the Bishop of Durham. Being on a visit to his friend Dr. Sharp, 
at Bamborough, he died there on the 16th July, 1789, in the 64th 
year of his age. The principal productions of his pen were " The 
Force of Argument for the Truth of Christianity, drawn from a 
Collective View of Prophecy;" "A Sketch of the One Great 
Argument formed from the general Concurring Evidence for the 
Truth of Christianity." In 1759, "An Apology for the Athanasian 
Creed;" 1760, a sermon on "The Origin of Faith;" 1766, an 



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essay on "Faith and its connection with Good Works;" 1767, an 
essay on "Establishments of Religion, with Remarks on the 
Confessional ;" and also three Sermons ; 1780, a Sermon against 
Persecution; also an essay on "The Distinction between the Soul 
and Body of Man." 

The Hon. Richard Byron, rector of Ryton in 1769, was brother 
to William, fifth Lord Byron, rector of Houghton-le-Skerne, who 
died November 5 th, 181 1, aged 88. 



The Parish Register dates from 1581, from which 
the following extracts are taken. 

1600, July 30 — Mr. Bartram Bulmer, Mrs. Jane Tempest (mar.). 

1601, March 19 — Restwold, son of Mr. Wm. Bunny, gent, 

soldier of Berwick (bur.). 

1602, Dec. 2 — Anthony, son of Bertram Bulmer (bap.). 
1603 — Payed to the infected of Gateside, xvus. vmd. 

1605, Aug. 4 — George, sone of Alex. Swinburne, of Winlawton 

(bap.). 

1606, Aug. 26 —Mary, daughter to Sir Bartram Bulmer, Knight (bap.). 
Oct. 13— Isab, daughter to Tho. Chaitor of Butterby, by 

Durham, Esq. (bap.). 
Nov. 3 — Mr. Tim Drap and MrisfFra Priestley (mar.). 

1607, April 9 — George, sonne to John Surteise of Chopwellside 

(bap.). 
June 14 — Barbara, daughter to George Ogle of ye Whitehouse* 
Aug. 23 — John Noble and Charitie Bulman (mar.). 
Oct. 13 — Mark Errington of Holdenhead, and Katherine 

Tempest (mar.). 

1608, April 1 7 — Robert Gray, a workman that came from Whickham 

(bur.). 
„ 27 — Anne Silvertop, Widdow of Ryton towne (bur). 
May 1 — Rafe, sonne of Rafe Gray of the Wrennes nest (bur.). 

1609, March 27 — William Noble, of Chopwell quarter of the 

Leadgate (bur.). 

1610, Jan. 15 — Mr. Willm. Bellassis and Miss Margaret Selby(mar.). 
161 2, Aug. 6 — Susanna, daughter of John Lions, gentleman, of 

Bradley (bap.). 



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1613, Dec 26 — Mary, daughter to Mr. Wm. Tempest, of Winlaw- 

ton (bur.). 

1614, Dec. 27 — Isabell, daughter of a stranger, borne at Bladon 

(bap.). 
a6i6, Aug. 21 — Thomas Coke and Elizabeth Selbie (mar.). 

1617, April 10 — Mary, bastard daughter to George Tempest of 

Winlinton (bap.). 
July 23 — John, the sonne of Lynell Trotter of Winlington 
(bap.). 
1617-18, Jan. 23 — Henry, the sonn of Sr. Barthren Bulmer, Knight 
Feb. 3 — Mr. William Tempest of Stillaye, gentill. (bur.) 

1618, July 19 — William Selbye and Margaret Hollyday, will, (mar.) 

1619, Sept. 19 — Jane, daughter to George Ogle of Winlawton (bap.). 
July 2 — Guielmus Hancock, Elizabeth Anderson (mar.). 
Nov. 28 — John Selby and Elizabeth Laborne, married at 

Whittonstall. 

1620, March 27 — John Selby, a child of Leadgate (bur). 

.1621, Julye — Charles, sone of George Tempest of Winlawton 

(bap.). 
1624-5, Jan. 16 — William, son of Mark Horsley of Bladon. 
1625-6, Jan. 13 — Henry, son of Mr. William James, Parson of 

Ryton (bur.). 
1625, March 28 — Sr. Nicholas Tempest of Stella, Knyght, Baronett. 
Aug. 21 — A poore wedoe at thornellay called Alles Adams 

(bur.). 
Sept. 20 — George, the sonn of Georg Affengton of Ryton, 

being slaine in a colepytt 
Nov. 14 — Robert Demster of Winlington, being slaine in a 

Cole pyt. 
Oct. 20— Raynold Ogill and Margaret Ridlaye (mar.). 

1627, Sep. 18 — William Foster of Winlinton, kilde in a Cole pyt 
Dec — A poore lame youth of Winlington (bur.). 

1628, July 10 — Dorothy, daughter of Sir Thomas Tempest of 

Stellay, Baronett (bap.). 
Oct. 20 — Robt, the son of Robert Babbington, gentl. (bur.). 
1628 9, June 24 — Mr. Ambrose Dudlay, Esquire. 
1629 — Dorothy, daughter of Sir Thomas Tempest, Baronet (bur.)* 
Aug. 12 — John Taller of Colebornes, one of the poore of the 
pishe. 



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1630, May — Thomas, sonn of Sr. Thomas Tempest, Baronet (bap). 
June 6 — Willm. Ogill of Winlinton, kyld in Cole pyt, and 

Robert Allan of Winlinton, kyld in a Cole pyt, being 

boys (bur.). 
May 10 — Jane, baise daughter of William Rychard and 

Elizabeth Durham, boethe of Winlinton; William Robson 

of the said Towne bounde for to kepe the parish harmles 

of the said childe (bap.). 
May 24 — Kathren, daughter of Sr. Thomas Tempest, of 

Stellay. 
1632, June 1 — A stranger woh was smored in a Cole pyt (bur.). 
1649, April 3 — Sir William Selby, Knt. (bur.) 

April 27 — A child of Sir William Davy, Knt. (bur.) 
1652, July 2 — Ann Rotherforth of Crawcrook, 96 years ould (bur.). 
1681-2, Jan. 23 — Mr. William Bulmer of Stella (bur.). 
1682 — William Silvertop, and Pickering, of Bladon; Thomas 

Atkinson, Winlaton; and 15 women drowned. 
1757, Jan. 6 — Charles Halliday, of riper years, aged 41, of 

Woodside (bap.). 
181 1, Aug. 28 — John Anderson of Barlow, near Ryton, died, aged 

108. (He expired in the act of soling a pair of shoes. . 

He enjoyed good health, and never wore spectacles.) 



Churchwardens' Books. 

The books are well kept, except during the later years of the 
Commonwealth. 

1606, April 25 — Paid for my dinner and the minister's, vid. (at the 

Archdeacon's Visitation.) F. Bunny. 
161 7, April 22 — An inventory of the ornaments of the church 

made : — One bible, three communion bookes, one other 

old communion booke, the book of Canons, and Jewell 

and Harden. 
1623 — For ringing at the return of our nobil prince from Spain, is. 
In 1627, the wages of labouring men are set down at 4d. a day. 
1645 — P a ^ f° r parchment for recording the Covenant, 6d. 
1646 — Paid 8d. for a book called the Directtorye. (This book 

was intended to replace the Book of Common Prayer.) 



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1664 — Paid for book called King Charles his workes, £1 is. ocj. 
For a Common prayer book, 10s. 
For a book of homilies, 6s. 
For a surplisse, £1 8s. od. 
For a book of articles, is. 
1665 — Paid for candells and drink and making fires on the gun- 
powder treason day, 2s. 
1666 — It is this day ordered that there be a sesse of 2s. per plough, 
and 8& a cottage, laid on for repairs about the church. 
It is likewise ordered that there be 3d. per plough, and 
id. per cottage, laid on to pay for foxe heads. 

Sgn. John Clavering, Robt Clavering, 
and 10 others. 

1667 — Ryton. 1 fox head. 

Winlington. 4 do. 

Chopwell. 36 do. and one brocke (badger) head. 

Ralph Swalwell is paid for 17 fox heads. 

1669 — Paid for 14 fox heads o 14 00 

2 Catt heads 

2 Foumart heads 

1 689 — Paid for a faste book 

1695 — Paid for a coat cloth for Newby's child 
1696 — Paid for a pole-cat head ... 

Paid for a table of degrees with a frame 
1706 — Paid for two Martin heads 



Paid for securing the woman that did penance 004 



o 02 00 
o 00 04 
026 
050 
004 
021 



004 



o 



Paid for a winding sheet for a cripple 
John Harrison to be paid is. 6d. per week for keeping the 
child found on Barlow Fell. 

1715, Dec. 2 — Robert Brown of Ryton Mill, slaine by the Mill. 

1 7 16, July 16 — Cuthbert Selby drowned in Tyne. 

172 1, Aug. 9 — Eleanor, — of Mr. James Mem,* late chaplain to ye 

factory at Winlaton, buried. 

1722, April 27 — Jane, daughter to William Gilbert, roller and 

turner, Winlaton Mill, a spurious child, buried. 
June 22 — Ralph Pearson of Winlaton Mill, killed with a 
waggon. 



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i722 9 Dec 21 — Barbara Smith, alias Nichols, a spurious child, 
baptised. 
Dec. 29 — Ben Nicholson drowned in a pit at Barlow. 
1723, March 26— Affable Battell, chaplain to Mr. Crowley, buried 
June 25 — John Wilson, a Romish Priest, Stella, buried. 
Sep. 14 — Nicholas Story, a dissenting teacher, buried. 
Oct 28 — William Walker, derk to Mr. Crowley, Winlaton 
Mill, buried 
1716, Feb. 6— Barns, a poor vagrant from High Spen, buried. 

1727, May 30 — Joseph, son to Thomas Andrew of Winlaton, and 

Elizabeth, daughter, in one coffin. 

1728, Oct. 22 — John Wild of Low Spen, and his horse, fell down 

a pit 
Dec 5 — Isabel, wife to Stephen Coulsin, sen., of Chopwell, 

aged 103. 
Dec. 5 — John Scott of Burnhill died by a fall in a coalpit 
Dec 17 — John Ramshaw killed by the waggons. 

1729, May 15 — James Jagues, a Presbyterian teacher, buried. 
1730 — A Communion Cloth was purchased at the cost of 24s. 
1730 — Chopwell. For exchange of 2 old flagons for basin and 

chambr. pot, 3s. 5d. 
1741, March 31 — Received from the gentlemen of the four and 

twenty, the contributions gathered in, rewards for taking 

up felons, &c, ^7 3s. iojd., by me, J. Lloyd. 
1744, July 1— Isabell Moffit did penance by order of the Court, 

but did not bring the order afterwards for absolution. 

Excommunicated a second time for the like offence, 
j 744 — To the dark at Winlaton for giving notice to keep the 

Sabbath holey, 4d 
1745 — To the constable of Winlaton for giving notice to people 

not to keep late hours, 4d. 
March 29 — Rachael Farrow, Blaydon Workhouse. 
1749, May 3 — John Fletcher, a stranger begging from Gateshead, 

died at Runhead. 
1753, Feb. 19 — William Johnson, South Biddick, died in the Lane 

going to Woodside, suddenly. 
Aug. 29 — Mr. Thomas Greenwell, a Romish Priest, Bladen 

Church. 



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i753> Sep*- 19 — Thomas, son to Jane Baulk and Joseph Blackett, 

excommunicated persons, Crawcrook. 
1788, July 2 — Number of families in the parish of Ryton, taken 
by J. Mirehouse, Curate : — 

Winlaton Qr. - - 617 families. 

Ryton do. - - 340 do. 

Crawcrook do. - - 129 do. 

Chopwell do. - - 124 do. 

Totus 1 2 10 

Protestant Dissenters, 63, viz.: — 
56 Church of Scotland. 

3 Anabaptists. 

2 Seceders. 

2 Independants. 
63 Totus. 

The number of Papists in the Parish of Ryton taken 12 September, 
1780 (viz.) 324 Totus. Number taken 2nd July, 1788, 
350. Jonathon Mirehouse, Curate. 

July 2nd, 1788 — One hundred Methodists ; they do not assemble 

in any ltcened place. 
One Sunday School at Winlaton, Sixty boys and Fifty girls 

attend it 

The Rector's house stands on the south side of the churchyard ; 
it faces the east, and the front of the house is rendered charming 
by the well kept lawns and ornamental flower beds. Over the 
front entrance — as at Whickham — are the arms of Bishop Crewe, 
with the date 1709, and a motto "non nobis." On a small plate 
on the left side of the door is the date 161 2. The arms, crest, 
and monogram of the Rev. James Finney, are seen at the top of 
the entrance hall windows. One of the spouts bears the inscription 
"R T., 1795." O n ^ e west s ^ e °f l ^ e house there are two old 
windows which look into the kitchen garden ; they are about 4 feet 
6 inches high, and probably of fifteenth century date. On one of 
the chimneys is inscribed "C. T., 1839." There is on a terrace at 
the front of the hall, a small conservatory to which is attached a 
sun-dial, bearing the motto " Pereunt et imputantur," which is the 
same as that above the entrance to the church. At the beginning 



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of the present century the rectory possessed several Roman altars, 
found at Benwell and Jarrow, but they were afterwards removed 
to the old castle. 



The Churchyard. 
"The village churchyard : let me lightly tread among its quiet sleepers." 

R. J. MlLLIGAN. 

The Churchyard, which is about two-and-a-half acres in extent, is 
enclosed by a wall, with an entrance on the east side. Formerly 
there was a mound on the south side of the church, from which 
the beadle announced to the people leaving the service, any 
events of importance that were arranged to take place during the 
week, as a sale of furniture, a funeral, the celebration of a village 
festival, etc. Near to the door leading from the rectory are the 
remains of the village stocks, which stood at one time near the 
Cross. 

Anyone who has spent much of his time in rural localities will 
have noticed the bareness of the churchyard northward of the 
sacred edifice. Suicides, persons of evil character, strangers, and 
the unbaptised were laid there : — 

"On the north side were buried 
The dead of a hapless fame ; 
A cross, and a prayer for mercy, 
But never a date or a name." 

This custom prevailed at Ryton until the middle of the eighteenth 
century. In medieval times the north was regarded as the seat of 
the Evil One ; hence the celebrant at mass turned towards that 
quarter while chanting the Gospel, because Christ came to destroy 
the power of the devil. Frequently, too, the garth-cross was placed 
to the north-east of the church as a sort of advance guard in that 
direction. 

Lying near to the entrance of the church is a flat stone bearing 
the inscription : — 

John Newton of 

Rickless was buried 

heare the 4th of November, 1684. 



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The Newton family occupied Rickless-farm for nearly two- 
centuries. 

There is a flat stone lying on the south side of the chancel 
which possesses some antiquarian interest Engraved on the stone 
are three mill-picks and a mill-rind, and around the sides is the 
inscription : — Heare lyeth the bodye of Jane Smith, was wife to- 
William Smith, miller. She departed to the mercye of God the 
29th of December, 1623. Near to this memorial is a stone erected 

In Memory of Anthony Belt 

of Winlaton, 

54 years Agent to Mr. Crowley 

Millington and Comp. 

Died Oct. 12 th, 1804, aged 68 years. 

A flat stone near the footpath bears the inscription : — 

Here lyeth y e body of Barbara 

Surteys, daughter was to Robert 

and Katheran Surteys, of Ryton. 

She departed this life 

Jan. 25th, 1682. 

As also of the said Robert and Katheran 

Surtees, and of Margaret and Mary, 

two other daughters of them. Robert 

died Oct 4th, 17 10, in the 86th year of his age. 

Here lyeth also interred y e body of 
Isabel Bowry, who departed this life 
the 10th day of June, 1723. 

The above Robert Surtees was the great-great-grandfather of 
Robert Surtees, the historian of the County of Durham ; and the 
arms of Surtees prefixed to the notice of Robert Surtees in " The 
Local Historian's Table Book," are copied from the tombstone in 
Ryton churchyard. 

Nearly opposite to the church door is a stone to the memory of 

Robert Laws of Horse-Gate, 

died Sept. 26th, 1746, aged 

108 years and 10 months. 



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Another stone bears the following curious inscription ;— 
So long the mason wrought on other walls, 
That his own house of clay to ruin falls ; 
No wonder spiteful death brought his annoy, 
He buried to build, and death to destroy. 
William Wallmason. 

The stone has sunk so far into the ground, that the year of Wall- 
mason's death cannot be seen. 

On a grave-cover, overhung with trees, near the south wall, is 
the following : — 

Thomas Chancer, 

son of Nicholas Chancer, 

died the 25th of September, 1819, 

aged 58 years. 

Thomas Chancer was a well-known stonemason at Ryton one 
hundred years ago; he erected the Village Cross in 1795. 

There is inscribed on a flat stone near the footpath, on the north 
side of the church : — 

Pray for the Soul of the 

Rev. William Hull, 

who discharged the duties 

of Catholic Priest in this 

Parish for a period of 

xlii. years. He died at 

Stella Hall, the xxm. July, 

mdcccxl. Aged lxxxiii. 

On a granite tombstone is the following inscription : — 

William Stowell, b.a. Lon., 

Born at North Shields 

Oct 30th, 1825 ; 

Died at the Manse, Ryton, 

Feb. 1st, 1878. 

Minister of the Gospel, 

Author, Journalist. 

"A man greatly beloved.*' Daniel x. xi. 

The burden of whose life and 

teaching was this : 



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" Herein is love, not that we 

loved God, but that He loved us, 

and gave his Son." I. John iv. 10. 

Along the side of the footpath are several tombstones erected to 
the memory of the Belts and the Lambs of Ryton. 

On the north side of the path is a tumulus or barrow. The 
base of this mound is about three hundred feet in circumference, 
and its sloping sides twenty feet in height It is now partly 
covered with trees. Undoubtedly this barrow is the burial place of 
one of the early inhabitants of the district. The Britons burnt their 
dead, and interred the charred bones in badly-baked earthen pots 
beneath a large mound. The Romans also incinerated some of 
their dead, and others they interred entire ; but their cremation 
pottery is of better shape and texture than that used by the Britons. 
The Saxons, who followed the Romans, after a similar fashion 
practised cremation and inhumation, and used both tumuli and 
cemeteries. Their barrows, as in the case of those of the Britons, 
usually stand on elevated places, either solitary or in groups. 
Sometimes a large solitary Saxon barrow is found to contain the 
bones of a chief buried with all his personal ornaments and military 
trappings. A barrow similar to that at Ryton was opened near 
Bradley Hall, about 1792, which was found to contain a kistvaen, 
in which a human body had been interred. In the year 1818, a 
tumulus at Fiodden Hill was broken into, when a large urn was 
found. This urn was surrounded by a number of cells formed of 
flat stones in the shape of graves, but too small to hold the body 
in its natural state. And if ever the barrow at Ryton is examined, 
it will probably be found to be the burial place of some British or 
Roman chieftain. The church was built much later than the 
erection of the mound ; but it is thought that the early preachers 
of the Gospel took advantage of the reverence which was paid to 
these ancient tombs, and chose to build Iheir churches near them. 

On the east side of the church there is a stone coffin with the 
date 1 6 10 inscribed on one end. Probably one of the early rectors 
was buried in it, and 16 10 the date when it was disinterred. 

Thirty-seven men and boys killed by the expflosion at Stargate 
colliery, May 30th, 1830, were interred at the east side of the 
churchyard. 

The Churchyard was enlarged in 1820, and again in 1853. 



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Bequests to the Poor. 

By will dated 26 May, 1687, and proved 1699, Ralph Harrison 
of Briansleap, Gent, left ;£ioo to the poor of the Parish of Ryton. 

Sir John Clavering, of Axwell, who died , left ^50 to the 

poor of Ryton Parish. 

By will proved in 1708, Jane Grey left ^20. 

By will dated 14 Dec, 1705, and proved in 17 10, Robert 
Surtees of Ryton, Gent,, gave ^20 to the poor of Ryton Quarter; 
the interest to be distributed by his executor during life, and after- 
wards by the minister and churchwardens. 

By will dated 31 December, 17 18, proved 4 May, 17 19, Thomas 
Humble of Ryton Woodside, gave ^20 to the poor of Ryton 
Parish ; the interest to be distributed by the twenty-four of the 
Parish. 

By will dated 13th July, 17 17, Andrew Surtees of the Holling, 
in Northumberland, gave ^50, to be placed at interest by the 
minister and twenty-four of the Parish of Ryton ; and the interest 
to be disposed of at Christmas and Midsummer amongst poor, 
aged, and impotent men and women, and fatherless children, of the 
Chopwell Quarter of the Parish of Ryton [He also bequeathed 
^CS° t0 tne Parish of Ovingham, to be placed out, and the interest 
distributed in the same manner], proved by Anthony Surtees, son 
and executor, 18 May, 1725. 

John Simpson of Bradley, Esq., who died 1733, left ^50; 
the interest is distributed on the 23rd December; the principal is 
in the hands of Mr. Simpson's heirs. 

In 1786, John Simpson, also of Bradley, Esq., bequeathed £$ 
per annum to the poor of Ryton Parish. 

In 1795, Jane Foster bequeathed ;£ioo to the poor of the 
-vicinity of Ryton Woodside. 

Walker Lawson, of Ryton, Esq., left ;£ioo, 3 per cents., to the 
poor of Ryton and Ryton Woodside ; also ^60 for the benefit of 
the parochial school. — Surtees. 



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Ryton Burnt by the Scots. 

After the battle of Stirling Bridge, in the year 1297, in which the 
English army suffered an ignominious defeat, the Scots under Sir 
William Wallace determined to invade England. Wallace, after 
making himself master of the town of Berwick, crossed the Tweed 
into Northumberland, where the Scots burned and plundered at 
their pleasure, except when in the neighbourhood of such places 
as Alnwick, Warkworth, Harbottle, Prudhoe, and other strongholds 
of the English. After having marched away westward towards 
Carlisle, they advanced to Hexham, where the monastery and 
chapel dedicated to St. Andrew, were plundered. 

Retiring from Carlisle, and marching through the middle of the 
forest of Inglewood, Wallace carried his ravages through Cumberland 
and Allendale, as far as Derwentwater and Cockermouth. He was 
now about to enter the county of Durham, but his march was 
arrested by a tremendous storm. The minds of the Scots were 
impressed with the serious belief that the anger of St Cuthbert 
was aroused by their conduct, and the idea of invading his 
territory was abandoned. Marching eastward, on the north side 
of the Tyne, the Scots destroyed a small house of Benedictine 
Nuns at Lambly, near Haltwhistle, and burnt the town of Corbridge. 
According to Henry of KnightorCs Chronicle^ " when the raiders 
were passing Heddon-on-the-Wall, a foraging party belonging to 
Wallace was seen by the inhabitants of Ryton, and no doubt 
considering themselves perfectly safe by the depth of the river, 
provoked the Scots with such opprobrious language, that they 
forded the stream, and burnt and plundered the town." 

The inhabitants of Ryton who escaped from the vengeance of 
the Scots, probably fled to the woods surrounding the village 
when their wooden huts were burnt, and their recently erected 
church plundered and destroyed. We have no means of ascer- 
taining what the population of the village was at that time. In 
the year 1292, the Prior and Convent of Tynemouth opened out 
collieries in the neighbouring Manor of Wylam; and the probability 
is, that coal mining also then commenced at Ryton; yet any 
statement in regard to the topography, or the number of the 
inhabitants of the village, would be mere speculation, so that we 



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are left in a state of uncertainty as to the number of inhabitants 
slain by the soldiers of Wallace, 

Hemingford, who was an eye-witness, gives us a striking account 
of the visitation of the Scots to Northumberland. * He says, " At 
this time the Scots took up their quarters in the forest of Rothbury; 
nor was there anyone to make them afraid, whilst the praise of 
God, and the services of religion, were not heard in any church 
or monastery throughout the country, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
to the gates of Carlisle. All the monks, canons regular, and 
ministers of religion, along with the whole body of the people, had 
fled from the face of the Scots, who were permitted to pass their 
whole time in one continued scene of slaughter, burning, and rapine, 
from the Feast of St. Luke to St. Martin's day ; nor was any one 
found to oppose them, except the soldiers of the garrison of 
Berwick, and of other castles hard by, who had ventured from 
their walls, and cut off a few stragglers in the rear." 



The Scots again at Ryton. 

In the year 1346, David, King of Scotland, invaded England a 
second time. According to Froissart, his army consisted of from 
40,000 to 50,000 men. The campaign commenced with the 
capture of the tower of Liddell, which was resolutely held for a 
time by Walter Selby, who was put to death after the tower was 
taken. After burning the Abbey of Lanercost, the Scots pursued 
their march through Cumberland and Tynedale. They plundered 
the priory of Hexham, but spared the town. Moving down to 
Corbridge, they assaulted Aydon Castle, which was given up on 
condition that the inmates were allowed to depart with their lives. 
Thence they proceeded in the direction of Newcastle, and crossing 
the Tyne at Ryton, entered the county of Durham. There is a 
legend that St Cuthbert appeared to King David at Ryton, and 
admonished him that he should forbear to spoil or otherwise 
destroy his territory, otherwise his expedition should have a 
miserable end. The king, it seems, treated this warning with 
indifference, and, after probably plundering the church of any 
valuables it might possess, advanced westward, ancf crossing the 
Derwent, rested at Ebchester on the night of 15th of October, 



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Next morning his army passed through the village to Beaurepaire 
(Bearpark), was defeated at Neville's Cross, on Oct 17th, by the 
army of Queen Phillipa, the consort of Edward III., after a three 
hours fight, and David made a prisoner. 

The Market Cross. 

The cross stands on the village green, a short distance east of the 
rectory. The column, which is composed of four shafts, with the 
pedestal is about eighteen feet high, surmounted with a cross. It 
bears the date 1795. Thomas Chancer, a well-known mason in 
Ryton one hundred years ago, was the sculptor. 

In olden times the village fair was held in the churchyard, on 
the anniversary of the founding or dedication of the parish church, 
and thus became at the same time a church festival and a general 
holiday, which brought together the parishioners and people from 
the surrounding locality, who availed themselves of the opportunity 
of buying and selling, or bartering and exchanging, or otherwise 
disposing of things that were marketable. Afterwards, the scene 
of the fair was changed from the churchyard to the open space in 
the town, or to a convenient place near the churchyard. 

At the hirings for farm servants, which took place at Ryton 
annually, on the Fridays before May 12th and November 22nd, 
the scene was gay, lively, and interesting. Multitudes of people of 
both sexes from all parts of the neighbouring country, flocked to 
the fair to witness the sports and other attractions provided for the 
visitors. The public-houses were whitewashed; the doors and 
windows of cottages were painted ; in fact, everything was done 
by the villagers to render the hirings attractive and successful. 
The servants who offered their services stood around the Cross, 
each sex forming a distinct company ; and in order to distinguish 
themselves from the ordinary visitors, the young men fixed a green 
sprig in their hats, and the young women held a similar sprig in 
their hands, or had it fixed on the breast At the time of hiring 
the servants received their "arles" (to bind the contract), which 
usually amounted to 2s. 6d., and occasionally to 5s., after which 
they either repaired to the public-house, or enjoyed themselves in 
other ways. 

The stalls containing articles for sale lined both sides of the 

4 



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street, while the caravans, with their usual accompaniments, stood 
opposite to the rectory cottages. The scene was often enlivened 
by itinerant minstrels, who endeavoured to "make a penny" by 
offering their songs for sale; and a juggler would astonish the 
servant lads by his feats of legerdemain. It is needless to mention 
that extraordinary sights were sometimes witnessed at the fair or 
hirings. On one occasion a well-known Ryton "character," named 
Ben Renwick, drove into the village on the back of a bull, and 
galloped several times around the Cross, making the sight-seers 
run in all directions. Dancings were held at night in the public- 
houses, which were frequented by the youth of both sexes, and 
which were carried on until the following morning. 

Ryton Hirings and Swalwell Hopping were times when many a 
hard fought pugilistic encounter took place between those who had 
old scores to pay off, or old disputes to settle ; the village constable 
being powerless to maintain law and order. 

Mr. Housman, who gives us so lively and "accurate a description 
of the fairs in Cumberland at the beginning of the present century, 
thus describes their dancings, which were similar to those held at 
Ryton Hirings. He says : — " In their dances, which are jigs and 
reels, they attend to exertion and agility, more than ease and 
grace; minuets and country dances constitute no part of the 
amusements of these rural assemblies. Indeed, these dancing 
parties often exhibit scenes very indelicate and unpleasant to the 
peaceful spectator. No order is observed, and the anxiety for 
dancing is great ; one couple can only dance their jig at the same 
time ; and perhaps half-a-dozen couples stand on the floor waiting 
for their turns : the young men busied in paying addresses to their 
partners, and probably half-intoxicated, forget who ought to dance 
next ; a dispute arises ; the fiddler offers his mediation in vain ; 
nay, the interference of an angel would have been spurned at : 
blood and fury ! it must be decided by a fight, which immediately 
ensues. During these combats the whole assembly is in an uproar; 
the weaker part of the company, as well as the minstrels, get upon 
the benches, or stand up in corners, while the rest support the 
combatants, and deal blows freely among each other ; even the 
ladies will not unfrequently fight like Amazons in support of their 
brothers, sweethearts, or friends. At length the fight is over, and 
the bloody-nosed pugilists, and unfeathered nymphs, retire to wash, 



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and readjust their tattered garments ; fresh company comes in — 
all is again quiet, and the dance goes on as before; while the 
former guests disperse into different public-houses, and the en- 
counter — which generally commences without any previous malice 
— is rarely again remembered." After 1866, Ryton Hirings 
became an institution of the past 



RYTON IN 1895. 

The winding lane, the mossy well, 

And name-carved oaken tree, 
Weave round my heart a potent spell — 

Old Ryton' s banks for me. 

After leaving Ryton Station, you pass the house on your right 
hand belonging to the Ryton Golf Club, and another on your left 
used by the Curling Club. Scores of golfers play on the Willows 
whenever the weather will permit A few minutes' walk up the 
steep hill, formed into an avenue by overhanging trees, and you 
enter the village. At the top of the lane stands the Parish Hall, 
which is a neat building in the Domestic Gothic style. It consists of 
large hall or assembly room, and other rooms intended to contain 
library, reading apartments, and to be used for meetings, lectures, 
etc. The cost of the building, which was opened December 14th, 
1893, was ;£i6oo, raised by voluntary subscription. 

Proceeding eastward past the Post Office and Elvaston Cottages, 
you reach the entrance to The Grove, the residence of Thomas 
Spencer, Esq. The house is a brick building, two storeys high, 
and facing the south. From the north side of the house there is a 
commanding view of the Tyne for several miles. Opposite to The 
Grove stands Elvaston Hall, a large modern stone mansion. A 
high wall encloses the grounds and gardens, which are tastefully 
laid out 

At the east side of Elvaston Hall is Whitewell Lane, which runs 
to the Hexham turnpike ; and which received its name from a well 
on the west side, which was usually whitewashed on the outside. 



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The well is now closed. At the foot of the lane, on the east side, 
there is an old mansion, which is now divided into tenements, the 
lower part being a butcher's shop, and that adjoining, the residence 
of Miss Hindhaugh. The mansion was occupied by Robert 
Surtees more than two hundred years ago. Like a great many of 
the houses built at that time, the rooms are low, and panelled with 
oak ; the stairs are also of oak, having the balusters beautifully 
carved. There is inscribed on a mantel in one of the rooms 
R. S K. 1682 (Robert and Katherine Surtees), and on a stone in 
the front wall of the house R. S K. 1669. The following is 
scratched on a pane in one of the windows : — " Peggy Weatherly, 
1772, aged 5 years 16 weeks & 5 days." The principal entrance 
seems at one time to have been at the east side of the house, as 
the pillars of the old gateway are still standing. 

Robert Surtees of Ryton was the second son of Edward Surties 
or Surtees of Broad Oak, in the parish of Ovingham (who died in 
1 655), by Margaret Coulsin, niece and heiress of Robert Surtees, 
alderman of Durham. Robert Surtees of Ryton, who married 
Catherine, daughter of John Hauxley of Crawcrook, died October 
4th, 1 7 10. He left several daughters and two sons. Hauxley 
Surtees married Ann Watson of Silksworth, and died 17 19, without 
issue. Edward Surtees of Mainsworth died 1744, aged eighty-four 
years. Robert Surtees of Redworth, eldest son of Edward, by 
Jane Crozier, married Dorothy, daughter and co-heir of Thomas 
Lambton, Esq., of Hardwicke, and had two daughters, one of 
whom, Jane, married her cousin, Crozier Surtees of Redworth. 
George Surtees of Mainsworth, second son of Edward, died un- 
married, 1769. Crozier Surtees of Merrysheels, in the county of 
Northumberland, married Jane, daughter of Ralph Hodgson, Esq., 
of Alwent, and was father of Crozier Surtees, Esq., who married 
his cousin, Jane Surtees of Redworth. Hauxley Surtees of New- 
castle married Elizabeth Steele, and was father of Robert Surtees, 
who had Mainsforth by gift of his uncle, George Surtees, Esq. 
James Surtees was the youngest son of Edward Surtees. 

Robert Surtees of Ryton was the great great-grandfather of 
Robert Surtees of Mainsforth, the historian of Durham, born 1st 
April, 1779, at Durham, in the parish of St. Mary, in the South 
Bailey. In his will, dated 10th June, 1700, Robert Surtees devised 
to his nephew, Ralph Ord, the house at Ryton Loaning Head. 



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Robert Surtees was an extensive landowner in Ryton, Crawcrook, 
Hedgefield, and Whickham. 

Wallace Terrace, which comprises a number of substantial 
houses, with gardens back and front, runs up the east side of 
Whitewell Lane. At the top of the terrace is the residence of Dr. 
Smith. The Tower, built about thirty years ago by Mr. Gustav 
Schmalz, stands in well-sheltered grounds on the east side of 
Whitewell Lane. The grounds are laid out with great taste, and 
are attractive in appearance. The house is occupied by John 
Mclntyre, Esq. At the top of the lane, on the west side, is the 
residence of James Hindmarsh, Esq., after leaving which the lane 
meets the Hexham turnpike. On the north side of the turnpike 
stands the Ryton Hotel, and on the south side the Wesleyan 
Chapel, which is the cathedral of Methodism in the villages on the 
south side of the Tyne. 

Charles Wesley preached at Ryton in 1742, his subject being 
"The Great Supper," which maide a powerful impression on the 
minds of his hearers. Tradition has not handed down to us the 
exact spot on which Wesley preached, but it was probably on the 
village green, where the Cross now stands. In the religious census 
of the parish of Ryton, taken in 1788, by Jonathan Mirehouse, 
curate, it is stated that there are "one hundred Methodists : they 
do not assemble in any licensed place." John Wesley preached 
several times in Mr. Newton's house in Dene Head; and for 
several years prior to 1835, the Wesleyans conducted their services 
in this house; but from 1835 till 1881 they were without a place 
in which to worship. The present chapel is a structure of attractive 
appearance, in the Early English style, consisting of nave, aisles, 
north and south transepts, and a handsome square tower, containing 
a clock with two dials at the north-west angle of the building. 
The interior contains a gallery, and there are sittings for three 
hundred and twenty persons. The basement is used as a lecture 
hall, the Sunday school being placed at the east end, and can be 
used when required as a transept. The Chapel was opened in 
1881, the cost being ^4,107, half of which was contributed by 
Mr. I. O. Game, who also presented the organ, which is a powerful 
and fine instrument, at a further cost of ^474. 

A road on the east side of the chapel leads southward to Star- 
gate and Stephen's Hall ; and a few minutes' walk from the chapel 



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brings the visitor to Ryton Cemetery, five acres in extent It has 
a neat mortuary chapel, and was opened in 1884. 

Dene Terrace, which runs along the south side of the Hexham 
road, on the east side of the chapel, is formed by a row of substan- 
tial and attractive-looking houses with small flower gardens in 
front Following the Hexham road eastward for a quarter of a 
mile, the Runhead farm is reached. This spot receives its name 
from its being the site of one of the old coal-ways down which 
the waggons ran on their way to Stella. At the Runhead a road 
branches from the Hexham turnpike, and leads to the old part of 
Ryton. The road is extremely pleasant, especially when you 
approach Holburn Dene, where there is a deep ravine which 
terminates on the north side of the hill. Tradition says that a 
flour mill formerly stood on the side of the ravine, driven by the 
water which ran down the dene. At present all traces of the mill 
have disappeared. On the east side of Holburn Dene is Ryton 
Park, until recently the residence of the late Richard Morce 
Weeks, who fifty years ago kept a private school for gentlemen's 
sons. It will undoubtedly interest visitors to Ryton to know that 
it was in Mr. Weeks' house that Mr. Joseph Cowen, late M.P. for 
Newcastle, was educated before he went to Edinburgh University. 
At the bottom of the dene, the road makes a bend westward to. 
the Cross. At the north side of the road are a number of the 
oldest houses in Ryton, one of which bears the date 1672. In a 
house near to Mr. Josh. Tate's blacksmith's shop, lived Mr. Robert L. 
Galloway, at the time he wrote his admirable book, "A History qf 
Coal Mining in Great Britain," published in 1852. He was also 
author of "The Steam Engine,"and its Inventors." Mr. Galloway 
was mining engineer at the Stargate Colliery, and only lived a 
short time at Ryton. At Jhe_ opposite side of the road is Ryton 
Lawn, the residence of C. M. Ormston, Esq. 

Passing the north end 6f "Whitewell Lane, a few minutes' walk 
brings the visitor to " The White House," standing on the south 
side of the Cross. Eighty years ago, this interesting building was 
the Savings Bank. Soon after the Rev. Charles Thorp became 
rector of Ryton (1807), he founded the bank to encourage thrift 
among his parishioners ; it was open on Saturdays from six o'clock 
till eight, to receive deposits. During its existence it was of great 
benefit to the numerous body of smiths, colliers, and other indus- 



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Mftir/VW. 



39 

trious workmen of the neighbourhood. This Savings Bank was 
the first established in England. The Independents afterwards 
li. conducted religious services in the White House, having for their 

minister the Rev. D. Wilson. 

Ryton House, the residence of Joseph Lamb, Esq., stands on 
the west side of the White House. It is a large modern brick 
building, well sheltered, and adorned with well-kept lawns. 
The " Court Room," in which Petty Sessions were formerly held 
at Ryton on the first Monday in every month, was in Ryton House, 
at that time the residence of Humble Lamb, Esq. The following 
were the acting magistrates: — C. J. Clavering, Esq.; Humble 
Lamb, Esq.; and the Rev. Charles Thorp ; to whom Mr. John 
Dobson of Gateshead, officiated as clerk. The Lambs belong to 
one of the old Ryton families.. Joseph Lamb, who died December 
21st, 1800, married Ann, daughter of Ralph Humble of Ryton 
House. Humble, the son of Joseph Lamb, was widely known 
and highly respected. He was a magistrate for Durham and 
Northumberland. He died suddenly on April 13th, 1844, and 
was succeeded by Joseph Chatto Lamb, Esq., who died November 
6th, 1884, aged eighty-one. He was the father of the present 
owner of Ryton House. 

Opposite to Ryton House is Dene Head, where stands the fine 
residence of Mrs, Thorp, with its handsome doors and windows, 
after the Norman and Decorated styles. % The stones of which 
they are built were brought from the Market-House, Durham, by 
the Rev. Charles Thorp. Near to Mrs. Thorp's house once stood 
the Subscription School, built in 1791, and endowed with five 
pounds per annum by Lord Crewe's trustees. On the erection of 
the present school at Barmoor, the old school was demolished. 
At the top of the Dene is the old Pinfold, in which stray cattle 
were formerly impounded till claimed by the owners ; the bailiff 
exacting a sum of money for their liberation. 

In a house at the west end of Dene Head, was born, on the 5th 
August, 1858, Mr. Herbert Schmalz, a distinguished living artfst 
His father, the late Gustav Schmalz, was for many years German 
Consul at Newcastle, and lived for the greater part of that time at 
Ryton. After the birth of Herbert, his father built the mansion 
known as The Tower, in White well Lane, into which he removed 
and lived for about ten years. Herbert's mother was the daughter 



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of the late J. W. Carmichael, the marine painter. When seventeen 
years of age, Herbert was considered to have completed his general 
education, and was sent to London to study at the Kensington Art 
Schools, and a year later became a student at the Royal Academy 
Schools. Subsequently he spent some months at Antwerp. His 
first picture, " I cannot Mind my Wheel, Mother," was hung in 
the Academy of 1879. In that year Mr. Schmalz removed from 
Newman Street to Holland Park Road, afterwards making Addison 
Road his residence. Among the productions of this clever artist 
are "Christianae ad Leones," "Zenobia's Last Look on Palmyra," 
"The King's Daughter," "The Daughters of Judah in Babylon," 
"The Return from Calvary," and "The Resurrection Morn." 

Turning to the right, a short walk through the Dene brings you 
to Ryton Ferry, which is one of the fairest spots around the old 
village. The place is remarkable for its stillness, which is only 
broken by the shriek of the whistle of a passing train, or the 
chiming of the hour by the church clock. The scenery is exception- 
ally picturesque. On the south side of the river are the banks of 
Ryton, richly wooded, and teeming with bird life ; on the north 
side is the old-fashioned house of the boatman, protected from the 
north winds by a belt of trees running east and west along the 
bank of the stream. Rising gracefully from the low lying ground, 
the southern hills, with their hamlets and woods, and pretty 
cottages, form a splendid background. Half a mile westward the 
river makes a graceful bend to the north, and eastward in the same 
direction till it reaches Newburn. Altogether the Ryton Ferry is 
one of the most delightful pieces of scenery on the Tyne. 
Although the boatman's house is at the north side of the river, it 
is in the parish of Ryton, the boundary line being immediately 
behind the house. The river has evidently changed its course at 
a time not very remote. Old inhabitants of the villages in the neigh- 
bourhood affirm that sixty years ago traces of the former course of 
the stream were plainly discernible. Sykes informs us that formerly 
tremendous floods frequently caused the river to overflow its banks, 
the waters bearing destruction to the low lying grounds adjoining 
the river. In the great flood of 177 1, Jos. Foster, the ferryman at 
Ryton, had to escape from a window in the second storey of the 
old house, to a boat sent to his rescue. Sir John Lubbock tells 
us how easy it is for a river to change its course under the 



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conditions already mentioned. He says : — "If the country is flat, 
a river gradually raises the level on each side ; the water which 
overflows during floods being retarded by trees, bushes, sedges, 
and a thousand other obstacles, gradually deposits the solid matter 
which it contains, and, then raising the surface, becomes at length 
suspended, as it were, above the central level. When this elevation 
has reached a certain point, the river, during some flood, overflows 
and cuts through its banks, and deserting its old bed, takes a new 
course along the lowest accessible level." The object of the ferry 
in olden times would be to put the Cistercians of Newminster, 
near Morpeth, in direct communication with their land in Chopwell. 
At that time the ferry would be higher up the river, near to 
Wylam. The following interesting reference to Ryton Island, and 
Haughs, appeared in the Newcastle J 'ournal, March 2nd, 9th, 1766 
— "To let, a parcel of land on Ryton Haugh, Fog-gates for four 
Beasts ; a Horse-gate once in five years in Ryton Island ; and a 
Fishing-Side." Fog is the second crop, that follows a hay crop. 
Gate is a stint, or right of pasture. 

In 1872 the owners of stints on Ryton Willows were : Owners of 
Townley Estate, 17 \\ Joseph Cowen, Esq., 5 ; G. Silvertop, Esq., 
4| ; Mr. R. M. Weeks, 4 ; Mr. Joseph Lamb, 3 ; Lady Kinlock, 
2 \ ; Messrs. Tweedy and Hind march, 3 ; Mrs. Matthewson, 2 ; 
Rev. C. Thorp, 2 ; Rector of Ryton, 1$ ; The Greve, 1 ; Mr. 
Bates, 1. The stints are still held by the representatives of the 
above families. 

Returned to the top of the Dene, and advancing to the Bar 
Moor, the attention of the visitor is arrested by what appears to be 
the remains of two drinking fountains, built into the wall, which 
possess some curiously carved heads of stone. These stones were 
brought from the Market-House, Durham, by the Rev. C. Thorp, 
and erected in their present shape as ornaments to the village. 
Passing the East Grange Farm, and St. Mary's Terrace, you reach 
the Bar Moor. Before arriving at the Hexham turnpike, a lane 
branches from the Ryton road to the Grange farm. This farm 
belongs to Mr. Jos. Cowen ; it was purchased by the late Sir Joseph 
Cowen from the Saunders of Ryton, at that time the representative of 
the oldest family in the parish. Mr. Jos. Cowen has in his possession 
several relics of the Saunders, amongst them a curious wood sugar 
basin, bearing the inscription, "G. and I. Saunders, Ryton Grange, 



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I79 2 -" This George Saunders was a direct descendant of John 
Saunders, who, in 1498, granted lands in Ryton "to William Clark, 
and his successors, Chaplain of St. Mary's Altar, for the perpetual 
maintenance of a light before the image of the Virgin." 

In 1863, Ryton was formed into a Local Board district of nine 
members, comprising the townships of Crawcrook, Ryton, and 
Ryton Woodside. It contained an area of 5149 acres, and had a 
population of 5553, in 1891. Its rateable vajue at that time was 
^27,474. In 1894, an Urban District Council of nine members 
was formed. 

Bar (Bare) Moor. 

At the beginning of the present century, the Bar Moor was a tract 
of waste ground, which in 1825, was enclosed by Act of Parliament 

At the juncture of the road from Ryton with the Hexham turnpike,, 
stand the Thorp Memorial Schools, which are fine stone buildings, 
erected to the memory of the Ven. Archdeacon Thorp in 1861, by 
public subscription. In 1886, they were enlarged and improved, 
consisting now of mixed and infants' schools, with accommodation 
in the former for 130, and in the latter for 90. 

A little farther westward, on the same side of the Hexham 
turnpike, is the Congregational Church. Before the erection of 
this church, the members of this body in the neighbourhood travelled 
to Horsley to worship, where there had been a " meeting house " 
for two hundred years. It was started by the Rev. Thomas 
Trewren, or Trurant, who was ejected from his church at Ovingham, 
upon the passing of the celebrated Act of Uniformity in 1662. 

The Church at Barmoor is a neat stone building in the Early 
English Style, erected in 1861, at a cost of ^400, and was after- 
wards enlarged at a further cost of ^500. It consists of a well 
fitted nave, with seatings for 260. A Sunday School was built at 
a cost of ^200, which was enlarged in 1878, the extra cost being 
^700. Adjoining is the Manse, the residence of the minister, the 
Rev. Hugh Rose Rae. The Rev. William Stowell, b.a., was the 
minister of the church till his death in 1878. There is a tradition 
in the neighbourhood, that a great number of the keelmen, and the 
drivers of horses on the old waggon ways, came from the borders, 
and were Presbyterians. They held religious services in a house 



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at Woodside, early in the eighteenth century. The following 
entries are in the Ryton Register: — " 1723, Sept. 14th, Nicholas 
Story, a dissenting teacher (bur.). 1729, May 15th, James Jagues, 
a Presbyterian teacher, buried" The society at Woodside seems 
to have been for a short time without a house to hold their services 
in, when they attended different churches in Newcastle. In 1732 
they again secured a dwelling house at Woodside, and were placed 
under the care of the Rev. John Crossland. In 1750, the society 
was removed to Swalwell, where a chapel was built, in which 
services have been conducted for one hundred and forty-five years. 
When the "religious census" was taken, in 1788, there were fifty- 
six members of the Church of Scotland. 

On the south side of the Hexham turnpike is the Emma Pit, 
belonging to the Stella Coal Company, sunk in 1845. It has two 
shafts ; the Emma being eighty-three fathoms deep. The houses 
of the workmen are built in rows at the north side of the pit. 

The Blaydon Co-operative Society have a large branch store on 
the north side of the turnpike, built in 1893; which comprises 
grocery, drapery, butchering, hardware, and boot and shoe depart- 
ments. 

On the same side of the road is Moor House, which was 
purchased from Lord Ravensworth by Messrs. Potter, Hall, Budle, 
and Dunn, for the use of the engineer at the Emma Pit. 



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CRAWCROOK, 

Crawrok, Craucrue, Crawcrok, Crowcrok. 

Crawcrook — from crau> the crow, and cruik, a corner. This 
village may be said to be a continuation of Ryton Barmoor, and 
consists of houses built on the north and south side of the Hexham 
turnpike. With the exception of a few old-fashioned thatched 
cottages, the houses are mostly modern. Population : 1801, 325 y 
181 1, 268; 1821, 308; 1831, 340; 1841, 290; 1851, 320; 1861, 
319; 1871, 346; 1881, 450; 1891, 1054. Rateable value in 
1821, ,£1,614 ; and in 1894, ^7»3 6 5- 

Crawcrook, according to Boldon Buke (1183), was on lease with 
the villein service ; but before Hatfield's Survey it had become a 
free manor, and it is stated, " Robert Horsley holds half the vill. of 
Crawcrook, by Knight service and ten shillings (and a toft and 
forty acres, called Bradley, by one penny rent, on St. Cuthbert's 
Day, in September)." In 1544, Margery, sister and heir of Roger 
Horsley, married Cuthbert Carnaby, of Haydon Bridge, Co. of 
Northumberland. After the lapse of a few generations, the 
Carnabys sold this estate in small parcels. 

The other moiety of Crawcrook was the property of the Hospital 
of St. Giles of Kepyer, and after the dissolution, was distinguished 
by the name of Little Kepyer, which John Watson of Newcastle, 
acquired in 1587 by purchase, of John Heath, Esq. It consisted 
of four messuages, a water mill, four gardens, two hundred acres of 
arable, as many of pasture, a hundred and forty of meadow, forty 
acres of woodland, two hundred of furze and heath, three hundred 
of moor, thirty of marsh, a free fishery in the Tyne, and 27s. rent 
in Little Kepyeare, near Crawcrook. This John Watson, and his 
son Thomas, granted parcels of land in Crawcrook to Delaval, 
Sander, Jollie, Hauxley, and French. Catherine Hauxley inter- 
married with Robert Surtees, of Ryton, whose descendants 



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continued for some time to occupy lands in Crawcrook. At the 
present time the principal owners are Messrs. Thornton and Croft, 
Joseph Cowen, Esq., J. B. Simpson, Esq., A. M. Dunn, Esq., and 
the Stella Coal Company. 

Crawcrook, at the present time, may be said to be an entirely 
modern village. The houses which compose the principal 
thoroughfare, especially on the north side, are chiefly built of 
stone, and respectable in appearance. 

At the entrance of the village, and on the south side, are the 
school connected with the Colliery, and the Wesleyan Methodist 
Chapel. The latter is a handsome building of stone, erected in 
1875, as a memorial to Robert Young, missionary and preacher. 

This distinguished man was born at Crawcrook, Nov. 14th, 1796. 
His parents were devout Methodists; his mother having been 
converted under the ministry of the Rev. John Wesley. From his 
childhood he was a subject of deep religious influence, and his 
religious life may be said to have commenced in 18 14, when only 
eighteen years of age. Early in the year 1820, under a strong 
conviction of duty, he offered himself as a missionary, and having 
been 'accepted, was ordained on Nov. 9th, 1820, and immediately 
sailed for the West Indies. His labours were eminently successful; 
and in 1830 he returned to England, where his labours in all the 
circuits to which he was appointed were rewarded with success. 
As a pulpit orator his powers were of a high order. Some of the 
best gifts of a public speaker were found in him in happy combina- 
tion, and these were diligently cultivated. His labours and 
counsels in connection with the formation of the Australasian 
Conference were highly valued, both in the colony and at home. 
Two years after his return from this mission, his brethren shewed 
their appreciation of his character, by electing him to the office of 
President of the Conference. After a life of unintermitting but 
joyous labour, he was obliged, in consequence of paralysis, to 
become a Supernumerary at the Conference of i860. Full of 
peace and hope he died at Truro, on November 16th, 1865, in the 
seventieth year of his age. 

The Primitive Methodists have a small chapel on the same side 
of the turnpike, a little farther westward, which was erected in 1848. 

Crawcrook farm lies on the south side of the village. 

A lane known as Kepyer Chare branches off the Hexham turn- 



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pike, past the Fox and Hounds public-house, to the farm. Kepyer, 
in Crawcrook, obtained its name from Kepyer Hospital, on the 
banks of the Wear, to which certain lands in Crawcrook belonged 
at the time of the Reformation. The name is derived from 
Kep = to catch (the fish), and yare = a dam thrown across a 
river, to impede the free run of salmon, and to force them through 
the lock or trap, in which they were taken. Chare means a narrow 
lane, but the word is seldom found on the south banks of the 
Tyne. Having passed the " Fox and Hounds," a road branches 
from the north side of the Hexham turnpike, to Claraville colliery 
and Castle Hill. 

Where the road leaves the turnpike, there is a neat school-chapel. 
Mr. Archibald Dunn of Castle Hill, gave the site, and built the 
school, which was opened in February, 1886; in 1889, an infant 
school was added. In 1892, Mr. Dunn added a sanctuary to the 
little school. The chapel is dedicated to St Agnes, virgin and 
martyr. In the same year a priest was appointed, the Rev. Philip 
Fitzgerald. He was succeeded by the Rev. Edward Beech, who 
had been curate at New Tunstall. The Claraville Pit belongs to 
the Stella Coal Company, and was opened in 1893. The seams 
worked are the Five Quarter and the Towneley, the latter seam at 
a depth of seventy fathoms. About one hundred and forty men 
and boys are employed, and excellent houses have been built for 
the workmen. 

On the west side of Claraville stands Castle Hill. A large and 
handsome mansion has been built on the hill at the north side of 
Castle Hill farm, by Archibald Dunn, Esq. There is a charming 
drive from the main road to the house, through the beautiful 
grounds on the south side of the park. The scenery which the 
residence commands on every side, is wild and romantic in the 
highest degree. Mrs. Sarah H. Dunn, the wife of Mr. Dunn, is 
the writer of an interesting book, "The World's Highway, with 
some First Impressions while Journeying along it," which contains 
an account of her travels in the east. It was published in 1894. 

Returned to Crawcrook by the road which leads to Castle Hill, 
the Hexham turnpike forms a bend southward, towards the "Lamb 
Arms" public-house. This modern house is erected on the site of 
an old house which had stood for two centuries alongside of one 
of the old waggon-ways. A road here branches to Greenside, and 



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on the hill-side there is an old-fashioned public-house, the " Rising 
Sun," which also existed for the convenience of the men employed 
in the early coal trade of the district. After passing the "Lamb 
Arms," the road strikes westward towards Bradley. About fifty 
yards west of the "Lamb Arms," two houses occupy the site of 
Crawcrook school, at which the most of the gentlemen's sons in 
the neighbourhood were educated. It was endowed at the 
beginning of the present century with ^25 a year, by Miss 
Simpson of Bradley Hall ; and Lady Ravensworth, for a number 
of years, contributed ^20 a year for the education of poor girls. 
The school was conducted by two well-known schoolmasters, Mr. 
John Craiggy, and afterwards his son, Mr. John Alexander Craiggy. 
Some of the boys who attended "Craiggy's school," including 
George (afterwards Sir George) Elliot, Nicholas Wood, Thomas Y. 
Hall, and J. B. Simpson, Esq., the present owner of Bradley, have 
attained to a foremost rank as mining engineers. Other gentlemen 
who fill high positions as mining engineers on the continent of 
Europe, and in America, attended the Crawcrook school ; and it 
is a question whether any other village school in England has 
turned out so many distinguished men who have been connected 
with the coal trade. The endowment to the school was withdrawn 
soon after the Bradley estate was sold by Lord Ravensworth, and 
this well-known seminary was abandoned. At the west end of 
Crawcrook may be seen, on the hill-side, a long line of one of the 
old waggon-ways, which extended from Hedley Fell to Ryton, 
after which it passed down Holburn Dene, and across Ryton 
Haughs to the Tyne, near to the old Alnwick House — standing on 
the south side of the river — nearly opposite to Newburn church, 
where the coals were emptied into keels and conveyed down the 
river to their destination. 

At the extreme west point of Crawcrook, there is a road known 
as the Sledd Lane, which leads to Wylam Station. On the west 
side of the lane is the Daniel farm, which is one of the oldest in 
the old Ryton parish. About three-quarters of a mile west of 
Crawcrook, are the delightful woods of Bradley. 

Bradley Hall is a modern mansion, after the design of Payne, 
built of stone, and two storeys high. It is sheltered by fine woods, 
which extend to the Tyne, and impart a rich and warm aspect to 
the place. The gardens and pleasure grounds, which lie on the 



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north side of the hall, are laid out with great skill and good taste. 
The estate surrounding the hall — which comprises about 1140 
acres — is entered by two carriage roads : one from the Hexham 
turnpike on the south side, the other from the road which leads to 
Wylam Station. The latter road passes through some most 
charming scenery. 

Bradley Corn Mill, with its water-wheel driven by the Stanley 
Burn, is one of those old-fashioned places seldom seen in our 
generation. It is pleasantly situated at the north side of the 
Bradley estate, near to where the burn empties itself into the Tyne. 
Mr. Robert Marshall has been the miller for thirty years. 

According to Mackenzie, the Horsleys held Bradley with Craw- 
crook. Before the year 16 10, it was held by John Lyon; and 
Bradley Hall, and lands in Crawcrook, seem to have been in 
possession of his son in 1626. Shortly after, the Andersons of 
Newcastle acquired the whole of Bradley. 

The Andersons of Newcastle and Jesmond were a wealthy 
mercantile family. Francis Anderson was sheriff of Newcastle in 
1595, and mayor in 1601 and 161 2. He married Barbara Nichol- 
son in 1 581 ; and his eldest son, Roger Anderson of Jesmond, was 
sheriff of Newcastle in 161 2; in which year he married Anne, 
daughter of William Jackson of Newcastle. His only son, Sir 
Francis Anderson of Jesmond and Bradley, Knight, married Jane, 
daughter and heir of John Dent. He was a devoted loyalist, and, 
on the ruin of the royal cause, became an object of peculiar perse- 
cution to the successful party. He was fined ^1200, sequestered, 
imprisoned, and stripped of his title of knighthood, which fell 
within the list of proscribed honours, conferred after the 4th of 
January, 1641, when Charles separated himself from his parliament. 
He was sheriff of Newcastle in 1641, mayor in 1662 and 1675, 
and M.P. for the town in 1660-61, and 1678-9, in which last year 
he died. His son and successor, Henry Anderson of Bradley, 
Esq., in 1681 married Dorcas Matfen. Their daughter Jane, 
married John Simpson of Newcastle, and in their right of Bradley, 
John Simpson, their second son, married Anne, daughter of 
Richard Clutterbuck of Warkworth. He was succeeded by his 
only son, John Simpson of Bradley, Esq., who married 12th July, 
1768, Anne, daughter of Thomas, Earl of Strathmore. John 
Simpson was a benefactor to the Keelmen's Hospital, Newcastle- 

5 



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upon-Tyne, and on the south front of the Hospital is the following 
inscription : — 

In the year 1786, 

The interest of 100^ at 5 per cent, for ever, 

to be annually distributed 

on the twenty-third of December, 

among the ten oldest Keelmen 

resident in the Hospital, 

was left by 

John Simpson, Esq., of Bradley, 

Alderman of the town, 

and forty years Governor of the Hoastmen's Company. 

The grateful objects of his remembrance 

have caused this stone to be erected, 

that posterity may know 

the donor's worth, 

and be stimulated to follow 

an example so benevolent. 

This John Simpson left three daughters — Anne, Marie Susannah, 
and Frances Eleanor. Marie Susannah became the wife of Thomas 
Henry, Lord Ravensworth, who inherited through her the Bradley, 
Tanfield, and Sleekburn estates. In 185 1, Bradley was purchased 
from Lord Ravensworth, by John Walker, Esq., for ^40,000. 

The estate was afterwards purchased by Owen Wallace, Esq., 
who in 1894 sold it to John Bell Simpson, Esq., who makes it his 
residence. 

After leaving Bradley Hall, and advancing westward for half a 
mile, a road on the north side of the Hexham turnpike leads to 
Sourmires, where there is a splendid old mansion, with farm 
buildings attached, and known as Bradley Hall Farm. 

It was in this house, on April 24th, 1795, tnat Nicholas Wood, 
the celebrated mining engineer, was born. At the time of his birth 
his father was mining engineer for Crawcrook Colliery, and at a 
famous old school at Crawcrook, Nicholas Wood received his 
education. He was afterwards sent to Killingworth Colliery to 
learn the profession of mining engineer, and subsequently became 
viewer of the colliety. It was at Killingworth that he formed the 



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friendship of George Stephenson, and the active genius of the 
young engineer was of the highest service to the inventor of the 
"Geordy" Lamp. It was Nicholas Wood who executed the drawings 
of the lamp according to the inventor's explanation ; and on the 
aist of October, 1815, accompanied by Nicholas Wood and John 
Moodie, George Stephenson descended .the shaft of Killingworth 
pit, to test the lamp in a part of the mine that was highly explosive. 
Having been urged to bring his invention under the notice of 
the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 
Stephenson consented, but on the understanding that Nicholas 
Wood was to act in the capacity of spokesman upon the occasion ; 
and on the 5th of December, 1815, at a meeting of upwards of 
eighty gentlemen, the interesting lecture was delivered. When 
Edward Pease wished to consult George Stephenson in reference to 
the formation of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, Mr. Nicholas 
Wood accompanied Stephenson on the occasion. This interview, 
which took place on the 19th of April, 182 1, had the effect of 
Stephenson being ultimately appointed engineer to the Stockton 
and Darlington Railway. In 1825, Mr. Wood published a treatise 
on Railroads, to remove some of the objections to them advanced 
by civil engineers at the time. When we consider that at this date 
Mr. Wood was only thirty years of age, his attainments must have 
been of a high order, In the year 1838, he read a paper before 
the Geological Section of the British Association, at Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, on "The Geology of the County of Northumberland." 
In 1862 the Association of Mining Engineers was established, 
when Mr. Wood was appointed President; and the handsome 
building in Newcastle, belonging to the Northern Institute of 
Mining Engineers, possesses an apartment known as " The Wood 
Memorial Hall/ Robert Stephenson, the famous son of a famous 
father, was apprenticed to Mr. Wood, to learn the duties of a viewer. 
Nicholas Wood died in London on the 19th of December, 1865. 

From Sourmires there is a pleasant footpath, leading through 
fields and plantations to Wylam Railway Station. 

Following the Hexham turnpike, on the south side you pass 
West Wood Farm ; the rising ground between this farm and Kyo 
Hall is known as Hagg Hill. 

Half a mile west of West Wood farmhouse are Stanley Burn 
Cottages. At this spot the burn passes through a bridge fifty feet 



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high, and takes a north-easterly direction to the Tyne. The burn is 
the western boundary of the parish of Ryton. 



PETH-HEAD. 

Returned to Stella, after leaving Stella House, and proceeding in 
a south-westerly direction for about half a mile, you reach Peth or 
Path-head, which is a delightful hamlet lying mostly on the west 
side of the turnpike. Several of the houses are old, thatched, and 
picturesque; and for centuries have been connected with the 
Nunnery and the Hall at Stella. Tradition states that there has 
been a village here since the times of the Saxons, and that a peth 
or path led through the forest in olden times to Hexham — hence 
Peth-head. 

On the west side of the cottages are the pretty and well-trimmed 
gardens of the workmen. A small burn, fed by the neighbouring 
hills, runs past the gardens, and drives a flour-mill. As you walk 
to Stella there are cool and pleasant retreats in the wood, and 
lately, Mr. Joseph Cowen, by repairing the roads and planting trees, 
has done much to beautify the place and make it attractive. 

A road from Peth-head, past the old Bog Pit, leads to Stargate 
Colliery, opened in 1800. A serious explosion occurred at this pit 
on May 30th, 1830, when thirty-seven men and boys were killed. 
Messrs. Dunn were at that time owners, but in 1833 the lease 
expired, and the colliery having been laid in soon after the accident, . 
was not used until 1840, when it was attached to the Rector's 
Glebe and Stella Freehold Collieries, by the present firm. The 
workmen live in houses near the colliery. At the end of one of 
the rows is a neat Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, erected in 1877, at 
a cost of ^500. 

Returned to Peth-head, and advancing westward by the turnpike, 
you have a commanding view of the Bues Hills range, the practice 
ground of the Tyne and Derwent Rifle Club. 

About a mile from Peth-head, and before you reach Greenside, 
there is a house standing on the north side of the road, which is 
known as Stephen's Hall. The front of the house has been 
altered ; but the old chimney, which is very wide, is against the 
west gable. On the north side interesting portions of the old Hall 



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remain. There is an arch thirteen feet at the base, and nine feet 
high. On a stone over the arch is the inscription : — 

DUM SPIRO SPERO, 

Whilst I breathe I hope. 

On two stones at the top of a low wall, resting on the arch, are the 
words — laus • deo. There is under the arch a square-headed 
doorway, six feet high and three feet wide. On the head is the 
inscription : — 

NON NOBIS DOMINE S.C. SED NOMINITVO 
NON NOBIS 1635. DA GLORIAM. 

Translation — Not to us, O Lord, but to thy name ; not to us, 
give glory. 

This door leads into a small yard, on the left of which is another 
doorway, now built up. The door-head bears the inscription : — 

OMNIA BONA DOMIN — . 

The letters S.C, in the centre of the inscription over the arch, 
are the initals of Stephen Coulsin, who lived in the Hall in 1635. 
The Coulsin family were closely related to the Surtees family of 
Ryton ; in fact, Robert Surtees was the son of Edward Surtees of 
Broad Oak, in the parish of Ovingham, by Margaret Coulsin, niece 
and heiress of Robert Surtees, Alderman of Durham. Edward 
_ Surtees died in 1655, so that he would be living about the same 
time as Stephen Coulsin. Stephen Coulsin had a son named 
Stephen, whose wife lived to an extraordinary age. There is in 
the Ryton parish registers the following entry: — "1728, Dec. 5th, 
Isabel, wife to Stephen Coulsin, of Chopwell, aged 103." The 
old Hall is one of the most interesting houses in the old parish of 
Ryton, and no visitor to the neighbourhood should leave without 
seeing it. 



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GREENSIDE. 

Greenside became a separate parish by an order in council, dated 
May 6th, 1886, and comprises the townships of Crawcrook and 
Ryton Woodside, with a small portion of Ryton. It embraces the 
villages of Greenside, Crawcrook, Emma Colliery, and (Ryton) 
Woodside, having a population of 3000. 

The village of Greenside is two miles from Stella, and one mile 
and a half south of Ryton. It is chiefly composed of houses built 
on the north side of the turnpike. Several of the cottages at the 
west end of the village are thatched, and picturesque in appearance. 

Greenside was included in the forfeiture of John Swinburne, 
Esq., of Chopwell, in 1570; and was granted by Bishop Barnes to 
Cuthbert Carnaby, Esq., by copy of Court-roll. The same bishop 
granted other lands between Rickley-forde and^ Abbotford, near 
Rickley Hill, to Robert Dodd. Formerly, coals were extensively 
worked in the neighbourhood, and several of the old waggon-ways 
are still to be seen. 

The site of one — of the "Folly Pit," — may be seen at the east end 
of the village ; and another at the south side, near to the " big " 
pond. With this pit were connected several eminent mining 
engineers. John Buddie, senr., served in the capacity of manager 
at this colliery during the closing years of the last century, and 
was succeeded by James Hall, Esq. Mr. Hall was for about half 
a century mining engineer under Messrs. G. Dunn and Sons, 
G. Silvertop, Esq., &c; and for many years during the latter 
portion of that period mining agent for Capt. Blackett, M.P., 
W. P. Wrightson, Esq., M.P., P. E. Townley, Esq., and other 
gentlemen. He served as engineer under John Buddie, at Walls- 
end Colliery ; and acquired his position as mining engineer by 
going down the A Pit, Greenside, and bringing to bank the bodies of 
several men who had been killed by an explosion, after Mr. Newton, 



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55 

viewer, had declined to do so. The father of John Buddie, then 
chief manager for J. Silvertop, Esq., resigned in favour of Mr. Hall, 
who continued to reside in the house of his predecessor until his 
death, which took place in 184 1. 

Mr. Thomas Young Hall, son of James Hall, was born at 
Greenside, October 25th, 1802. Mr. Hall, after being a pit boy, 
served an apprenticeship under his father and the eminent John 
Buddie, at the Townley, Whitefield, and Crawcrook collieries. He 
then acted as mining engineer, under an agreement for four years, 
at North Hetton Colliery ; afterwards for a similar period as 
engineer and manager of Black Boy, or Tees Wallsend Colliery, 
belonging to Jonathan Backhouse, and which, in 1852, was sold to 
Nicholas Wood* Esq., of Hefcton Hall; and next in the same+" HfcTlV 'V 
capacity at South Hetton Colliery. Subsequently he became a 
coal-owner, by entering into partnership with his former employer, 
Mr. Buddie, and Alderman Potter of Heaton Hall, as lessees of 
the rector of Ryton's Glebe, and of Stella Freehold Collieries, to 
which was afterwards added (after a cessation of six years' working) 
Stella Grand Lease, comprising Townley Main and Whitefield 
Collieries, and in conjunction with Mr. Buddie and others, of the 
royalties in Crawcrook, thus including the whole extent of Ryton 
Parish. 

In 1839, upon the recommendation of Robert Stephenson, the 
celebrated engineer, Mr. Hall was induced to go out to Virginia, in 
the United States, to look after the collieries belonging to the Black- 
heath Company, which on account of the prevalence of gas, were 
considered too dangerous to work. All the difficulties connected 
with the mines were surmounted by Mr. Hall, and the collieries 
were afterwards purchased by a wealthy English company, known 
as "The Chesterfield Coal and Iron Mining Company." Mr. Hall 
became one of the principal partners, and his services were retained 
at a salary of ^2000 a year, as resident superintendent and manager. 

Previous to Mr. HalPs engagement in America, and whilst 
sojourning there, he sent various plans and documents to eminent 
Russian engineers on mining matters, and, in 1840, addressed a 
letter to the editor of the New York Herald, in which he pointed 
out the advantages that would result to Russia by the formation of 
a line of railway between St. Petersburg and Moscow. Mr. John 
S. Carr, the Russian Consul at Newcastle, forwarded a copy of the 



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paper, and some other of Mr. Hall's documents, to Russia; and the 
subject having afterwards attracted the attention of the Czar ; and 
the Russian nobility, General TchefFkine and other engineers were 
sent to England to obtain the best information respecting the 
formation of a line of railroads, and the working of coal and iron 
mines. General TchefFkine afterwards visited Stella, and spent 
several days with Mr. HalL Mr. Hall was afterwards presented 
with several valuable medals, and a letter of thanks from the 
Emperor of Russia. 

Several improvements in colliery engineering were introduced by 
Mr. Hall. Formerly the men and boys were drawn up the pit by 
being slung to a loop at the end of a rope or chain ; and the coals 
were sent up in baskets, or corves. Mr. Hall originated the improved 
method of drawing coals at great speed by means of guards and 
cages in the pit shaft, and introduced tub carriages with bogey and 
edge-rails, into the pit workings underground. Mr. Hall was also the 
inventor of a patent Safety Lamp. The closing years of his life 
were spent in cultivating the Wylam Hill Farm. He died on the 
3rd February, 1870. 

The house in which Mr. Buddie and Mr. James Hall lived, and 
in which Mr. Thomas Young Hall was born, is still standing, and 
although old — with its pretty flower garden, and waving trees in 
front, is one of the pleasantest in Greenside. 

At the west end of the village is the School, built by subscription 
in 181 3. It has lately been enlarged, to accommodate an increasing 
population. 

John Wesley visited Greenside in 175 1, where he had the largest 
congregation he ever saw in the north. In 1781 a large house was 
converted into a place of worship for the Methodists. Formerly 
the chapel possessed a gallery, but it has now been removed. A 
chapel-keeper's house has been erected at the north end of the 
building. The chapel, although old, has a substantial appearance ; 
and its services are well attended! It has been for many years in 
the hands of the Free Methodists. 

A Mechanics' Institute was erected in 1848, at the expense of 
Alderman Potter, John Buddie, M, W. Dunn, and T. Y. Hall, 
lessees of the Townley, Whitefield, and Stella Freehold Collieries. 
The site was presented by G. Siivertop, Esq., Minsteracres. 



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The Church (St. John the Evangelist) 

Is pleasantly situated on the north side of the village, and is 
approached by the road which leads to Ryton Woodside. It was 
designed by Mr. John Henry, of Bamborough. It is in the 
Decorated style ; and consists of nave and chancel, a south porch, 
and western turret. The east window is in three compartments, 
and filled with stained glass ; it bears the inscription : — " Grace 
Aider, of blessed memory, wife of Robert Thorp, d.d., died August 
and, 1814. The tribute of her surviving children, Jane and 
Charles Thorp, a.d. 1857." 

The west window is in four compartments, and filled with stained 
glass ; it is also a memorial to a member of the Thorp family. 
There are two bells in the turret at the west end of the church. 
The larger one was formerly the workmen's bell, at Crowley's 
ironworks, at Swalwell; it was afterwards taken to Ryton church, and 
was used in connection with the clock, to strike the hours ; sub- 
sequently it was placed in the turret at Greenside church. A 
graveyard surrounds the church. At the entrance of the church- 
yard, on the east side, there is a lich-gate, or corpse-gate, where 
the body may rest while the funeral procession is formed. Lych 
is the Saxon word for a dead body. 

The vicar's house, which stands at the south side of the church, 
is a neat and substantial residence. 

The church was consecrated September 18th, 1857, by the 
Bishop of Durham. The Rev. R. M. Nason is vicar. 

A road at the south side of the village leads to the Sper>. 

A pleasant road westward for a mile and a half conducts the 
pedestrian to 



COALBURNS. 

This little hamlet, which contains about a dozen houses, including 
Coalburns Hall, and a public house ("Fox and Hounds ''J, is 
pleasantly situated in a valley, and surrounded with rich and varied 
scenery. It is a favourite "meet" for "the Braes of Dement" 
foxhounds. A road which passes Coalburns Hall leads to Kyo, 
Bucks Nook, and French's Close. 

Kyo has been extensively worked for coal ; and a number of old 



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pits, and the remains of several old waggon-ways, may still be seen 
in the neighbourhood. 

Bucks Nook Farm is an old-fashioned residence standing on a 
hill, facing the south. Ralph Lambton, Esq., of Murton House, 
so celebrated as a huntsman in the neighbourhood, and who kept 
a pack of hounds at his own expense, was in the habit of visiting 
Bucks Nook on the last day of the season, for the purpose of 
killing his May fox. 

Leaving Coalburns by the Leadgate road, and advancing west- 
ward, a branch road is reached which leads to Coalburns Farm, 
the birth-place of Christopher Hopper. 

Christopher Hopper was born on the 25th December, 1722. 
When five years old he was sent to a school kept by one Mr. 
Alderson, who taught not only the branches of learning he professed, 
but the fear of God, and the first principles of religion. When 
about eight years of age his father died, and young Hopper was 
placed in a shop under one Mr. Armstrong, with whom he was 
afterwards bound by indenture for seven years. Tiring of the 
drudgery of standing behind the counter, he returned home. His 
father being dead, his eldest brother occupied the farm, and kept 
waggon horses. Christopher was engaged at the age of sixteen to 
go with horses on the waggon ways, at which employment he 
remained until he was twenty-one. About the year 1742, he heard 
Charles Wesley preach at Tanfield Cross; and in 1743, John 
Brown, a farmer, who had been converted under a sermon of John 
Wesley's at Tanfield, removed to the Low Spen, and opened hishouse 
for preaching. It was at this time, and in John Brown's house, that 
the religious life of Christopher Hopper commenced. He after- 
wards became a class leader and a local preacher. When preaching 
in the neighbouring villages he sometimes was roughly treated. 
Once in particular, when preaching at Whickham, the constable 
came with his attendants to apprehend him ; they guarded the 
door, and waited until the conclusion of the service to seize him. 
When he had finished, he escaped through a window, after which an 
encounter took place between the constable and his men, and some 
of those who had formed the congregation, which ended in "hard 
blows and bloody faces." In the year 1744, he taught a school 
at Barlow, and while there married Jane Richardson, a farmer's 
daughter, at Ryton, on May 28th, 1745. In 1746 he removed 



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from Barlow to the preaching-house at Sheephill ; and in the year 
1748 he removed to Hindley Hill, in Allendale, where he began his 
arduous and faithful work among the people in the dales. He 
went about " from town to town, and from house to house, singing, 
praying, and preaching the word." In the year 1749 he was 
wholly separated to the work of the ministry. On March 20th, 
1750, he visited Ireland along with John Wesley; returning on 
July 22nd of the same year. In 1756 he paid a second visit to 
Ireland, and returned in 1758. In 1760 he visited Scotland for 
the second time, remaining until 1765. In 1776 he again visited 
.Ireland, returning 1777. After being stationed at Bradford, Colne, 
Leeds, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Liverpool, and other places, he went 
to his rest on Friday, March 5th, 1802, in his eightieth year. 
Thus passed away the Apostle of the Dales ; the companion of 
Wesley, and the friend of George Whitfield. 

Returning to the Leadgate road, in a few minutes you reach 
Penny Hill, where an old pit is to be seen. At the close of the 
last century, this pit and the Stella Grand Lease A Pit, were worked 
by steam engines put up by Mr. T. Y. Hall, which pumped water 
from large ponds constructed for the purpose, and which water 
being conveyed into a cistern fifty-two feet high, was made to turn 
a wheel, constructed with a brake, whereby the men and boys, as 
well as the coal, were drawn up the shaft. These two engines — the 
last employed in this manner in the north of England — were 
abandoned in 1800 and 1808. 

Mr. Robert Edington, in writing of the coal trade in the north 
of England in 181 3, says : — " Before I quit the Parish of Ryton, 
I must not omit the colliery of Chopwell (Penny Hill), belonging 
to Lord Cowper, and which had been wrought by Mr. Silvertop. 
This was called the famous White Field Colliery, which was so 
highly esteemed at all foreign markets, but not working at 
present. 

Leadgate is one mile and a half west of Penny Hill. It consists 
of a farmhouse, a cottage, and an old-fashioned public-house 
("Three Horse Shoes"). A few years ago, a woman, Mrs. Hunter, 
ninety-three years old, lived in the public-house with an unmarried 
daughter about seventy years of age. When asking for the daughter, 
the mother invariably called her the " bairn." From this circum- 
stance, the public-house is frequently called " The Bairns." The 



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west side of the " Three Horse Shoes " is the western boundary of 
the old Parish of Ryton. 



RYTON WOODSIDE TOWNSHIP. 

This straggling hamlet, which is in the parish of Greenside, lies on 
the south side of Ryton. The population in 1801, was 885 ; 181 1, 
338; 1821,1057; 1831,951; 1841,1059; 1851,1133; 1861, 
1051 ; 1871, 1066; 1881, 1082; 1891, 1106. Area, 2813 acres. 
Rateable Value in 1821, .£3169; 1895, ^5775. 

In 1592 Robert Hedworth died, seized of his messuage of Ryton 
Woodside; but in 1691 it passed to Henry Jenison of Newcastle, 
Esq., and in 1697 became the property of Robert Surtees, Esq., of 
Ryton. 

In 1825, in pursuance of Act of Parliament, a tract of waste 
ground in Ryton Woodside was enclosed ; and four acres, two 
roods, ten perches of Woodside Green was allotted to the 
churchwardens and overseers of the township of Ryton Woodside, 
to be by them employed and cultivated for the use of the poor 
of the said township, and in relief of the inhabitants rateable for 
their support. 

Ryton Woodside is reached by a road which branches from the 
Hexham turnpike on the south side of Ryton. A pleasant walk of 
half a mile brings you to the Glebe Farm on your right hand. 
Running along the south side of the farm is a road which leads to 
what remains of the old Glebe Pit, with which Mr. John Buddie and 
Mr. T. Y. Hall were connected. Stretching away in the distance 
westward are the Kyo, Rockwood Hill, and Westwood Farms. 
In a field on the north side of the Glebe Farm, may be seen about 
one hundred yards of the old waggon-way, by which the coals were 
led from Glebe Pit. At a short distance from the Glebe is the 
Maiden Hill Farm. From this part of Woodside there is a pleasant 
walk — having the church on the right hand — to the village of Green- 
side. On the south side of Greenside are the Rickless, Realy-Mires, 
and Burn Hill Farms. In the year 1 7 1 3, a Mr. Henry Marmion held 
a copyhold estate, part lying in the lordship of Winlington, near 
Ryton Woodside, known by the name of Realy-Mires, alias Benson's 
Farm. This farm, comprising one hundred and seventy acres, was 



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purchased on the 2nd July, 1895, by Mr. Joseph Cowen of Stella 
Hall. 

Returned to Ryton, after leaving the Runhead Farm, and passing 
"River View" — a row of neat modern houses on the south side of 
the Hexham turnpike — a few minutes' walk brings the visitor to 
High Hedgefield. 

In the year 1828, High Hedgefield House was the residence of 
Mr. Edward Martinson, parish clerk, schoolmaster, and overseer for 
the parish of Stella. In the year 1880, the Right Rev. Monsignor 
Canon Thompson removed from Esh to High Hedgefield, and 
occupied the house till his death in 1893. At the time of his 
death, Canon Thompson was the patriarch of the Hexham Clergy* 
He was born at Stella, on the 17th May, 181 1. His early youth 
was spent at Darlington. He was sent to a junior school at 
Scorton, in Yorkshire. At the age of fourteen he went to Ample- 
worth College, where he completed his classical education. 
Subsequently he went to Rome, where he lived until 1841. In the 
year 1839 he was ordained priest. While at college, a life-long 
intimacy sprung up between him and the distinguished Dr. Wiseman. 
After his ordination, the young priest became the colleague of 
Monsignor Witham, incumbent of Esh ; and after Mr. Witham's 
removal to Berwick, Mr. Thompson was placed in charge of the 
mission, remaining there without change for forty years; it was his 
first and his last mission. On the 23rd Nov., 1880, he sent his 
resignation to the Bishop. From this time until his death he 
resided at High Hedgefield, where he died on the 17th August, 
1893. Tradition states that a public-house once stood on the site 
of the present residence, and that the road to the ford at Newburn 
passed through the grounds attached to the house. 

A little eastward, on the south side of the road, is Hedgefield 
Church (St. Hilda), which is a chapel of ease to Ryton. It is a 
stone edifice of somewhat quaint appearance, in the Perpendicular 
Gothic style, consisting of nave, south aisle, north transept, and a 
short embattled tower with strong buttresses. At the east end is a 
fine Perpendicular window ; and in the west wall of the tower is 
the principal entrance doorway. The nave and aisle are divided by 
an arcade of pointed arches, springing from cylindrical pillars. It 
contains three hundred sittings. The church was opened in 1892, 
at a cost of ^2800. 



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At the north side of the Hexham turnpike is the Addison 
Colliery, the property of the Stella Coal Company. It was sunk 
in 1864, and the depth is sixty-four fathoms. This pit, as well as 
the "Emma" and "Stargate" pits, is drained by a pumping engine 
at the Addison, of one hundred horse power. About eight thousand 
tons of water are drawn daily, and taking the year through, about 
twelve tons of water are drawn to one ton of coal. The ventilation 
of the shafts is accomplished by two Guibal ventilating fans, one 
sixteen feet in diameter, the other thirty feet in diameter, and 
producing together a ventilation equal to a hundred thousand cubic 
feet of air per minute. The Addison pit is situated oh the line of 
railways to which all the coal from the other pits, except that sent 
to the Stella Staith, is conveyed by means of a three mile line of 
private railway belonging to the company. There are one hundred 
and eighty coke ovens. 

The miners live in rows of well-built houses, many of them with 
gardens in front, and altogether the little village has a thriving and 
prosperous appearance. 

There is a Primitive Methodist Chapel at the end of one of the 
rows of houses, provided by the colliery proprietors, and fitted by 
the members, with accommodation for two hundred people. 

Hedgefield House, which stands on rising ground on the south 
side of the turnpike, is a handsome villa, possessing a commanding 
view of the Tyne. On a plan of Stella, dated 1767, the site of the 
villa is occupied by " Ralph Shipley's House and Stack Garth." 
About- the beginning of the present century the old house was 
removed, and the present house built by William Matthias Dunn, 
Esq., who made it his residence. Until his removal to Bradley 
Hall, in 1894, the villa was occupied for many years by John B. 
Simpson, Esq. 

On the east side of Hedgefield House is the burn which divides 
the modern parish of Stella from the old parish of Ryton. 



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tbtj catise which has for its object the be 1 
elevation of mankind generally, Dr Sin 
rendered a service to the north of quite 
mon value, variety, and generosity. 



oaking more 'tea* fifteen years ago "of tb^^^S^^f^^X^^^^^M 
iplary life and beneficent work of the lawcal experience of the mining in4ustry with the 
irt Simpson, Sir Benjamin Browne observed Stella Coal Company, the magnitude of whose 
." he was one of those to whom the rule or<>peration& will'lxy best gathered by stating that 

A1 _ i r j 4.1. l jthe annual output of the various pits under its 

was the rule of conscience and the rule o$ uuv *," . \j ^"* J" " » „k«,,+ +i,«»i^,,<.^ra 

■ . ."control yields an average of about tnree-quarrers 

We ? cannot select a more appropriate^ a million tons of coal. For many years Dr 
rse to apply to Robert Simpson's son, for th€Si m pgo n na8 been the managing owner, and under 
?ct of our sketch this week, Aid Dr John Bel! his expert advice and guidance the collieries have 
>son, is in every sense of the term a worthy developed and prospered, 
of a worthy sire. For many years his nam* ENGINEERING SKILL, 

been held in: high honour by those who kno^ For many years he has been extensively asso- 
e honour is due. As a pioneer in scientific ciated with the chief enterprises in the northern 

ation, which he has furthered both by a> ^i* eld ^ ** A mi ™& ^*2S + * ' JSt?^ ™ 

, , , J Northumberland and other royalty owners*. as an 

uent and persuasive pen and a generoui expert valuer and arbitrator, and in many other 

e ; as an economist whose essays on the sub directions his eervices have been frequently in 

of capital nad labour have aroused widespread request, *$ule wl^afc* ni^y be ^-termed - the more 

ition; as a mining engineer whose knowledge practical and active side of his busy life has been 

be subject is at once profound and extensive marked ^by many feat* of engineeriug skill and 

,t , . l , . .. J foresight. For many years, the Wallsend and 

capable and experienced public, servant ; as a Hebb S Tn Collieries were directly under his charge 

mthropist whose benefactions have ^been oi and he was responsible for the erection of extensive 

utmost service to all sections of the com- pumpinff machinery. The drainage of Hebburn 

ity— in .Aort ^ as the tried .and trusted fnerd g^:^ * after ^lug i nun d a ted for a lengthy 

rerv catise which has for its obiect the be*-,*. 1 ^j.^ was one f ^{ s most successful undertakings, 

1 But his business activities are not exclusively 
' confined to the coalfield ; he is a director of several 
* well-known public companies, while many of th<j 
highest honours in the mining engineers' world 
have been bestowed upon him. A, member of th« 
Institutions of Civil Engineers, an ex-President oj 
the North of England Institute of Mining En, 
gineers, and a Fellow of the Geological Society, ii^ 
these and other capacities he has rendered eminent 
service along lines of research to the profession o| 
which he is so distinguished a member. 
BENEFACTOR TO ARMSTRONG COLLEGE. 
The affars of local administration, too, hav< 
claimed a large share of his talents and attention! 
To the Durham County Council, the Local Boar<j 
at Ryton, as a churchwarden, overseer of the pool 
and member of the Board of Guardians, and last} 
but not least, as a member of the council of Arm 
strong College, he has rendered conspicuous serj 
vice. By reason of his lengthy association witj 
the latter institution, not. less than by his muni 
fioemt donation of ,£10.000 towards the cost of th 
handsome School of Art which has been opener 
during the past year. Eis name will ever b 
identified with this Newcastle College. Indeed, i 
might not be too m'r-ch to claim that the Collegi 
itseif was founded chiefly through the instru 
mentality of Dr Simpson. At all events, more thai 
half a century ago he gave a course of lectures i: 
Newcastle on* geology, and it was from these am 
others which followed them that the movemeu 
was inaugurated which culminated in the establish 
ment of Armstrong College. And he has been on 
of its staunchest and most generous friends eve 
since. 

.- THE FRIEND OF ALL CLASSES. 

* * x ji n ^ * * -;< - ' — B^rt Armstrong College is only one of man; 

educated first at the village school of Craw- northern institutions which owes a deep debt c 
:> and afterwards under the celebrated Dr gratitude to Dr Simpson. To the movement fo 
o in Newcastle. Adopting the mining pro- the establishment of homes for aged miners h 
>n, he served his articles af apprenticeship j^ ajgo t^en a warm friend and g* 
r. his father, and also with the late Mr T. po r ter as th3 groups of cottages at 
ter and the late Mr G C. Green well, and ; Ttt r ckley tangibly testify; while y< 
rithe tnitaon of these ekffled engineers was' stanoe f the generous sentiments b; 



^ 



tOL 



Dr Z. BELL SIMPSON. 

Bacon. 

hn Bell Simpson was born in 1837 at the 
iresque rural spot of Ryton Woodside, and 



V 



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STELLA. 

Stelungley, Stelley, Stella — from Stell = a patronymi 
name, ley = uncultivated land. The parish of Stella \ 
in August, 1844, and comprises the township of Stella, i 
Ryton parish, and the town of Blaydon, and the 
Derwenthaugh, formerly part of Winlaton parish. 

Stella township comprises an area of two hundred and eighty-six 
acres, which forms part of the Townley estate. Population: 1801, 
314; 1811,385; 1821,421; 1831,482; 1841,563; 1851,565; 
1861,542; 1871,592; 1881,743; 1891,788. Its rateable value 
in 1821 was ^1031, and in 1894, ^2955. 

Stella village stands on the south side of the Tyne, and west of 
Blaydon burn. It is straggling in appearance, and several of the 
houses are old and thatched. Nearly the whole of the land is in 
the possession of the Townley family. 

About the year 1149 William de St. Barbara, Bishop of Durham, 
granted Stellingley, "with all its appurtenances in woodland, 
champian, roads, ways, metes, boundaries, mills, and meadows, 
Waters, fish-dams, and fisheries, free of forest-right and pasturage 
of the Bishop's hogs, to St Bartholomew and the Nuns of 
Newcastle." According to Boldon Buke (1183), "The son of 
William the Moneyer holds Stellingleye by the correct boundaries 
which the bishop caused to be perambulated for him, and pays one 
mark." 

"There can be little doubt," says Surtees, "that this Monetaims, 
whose fame was so permanent, that his son needed no other 
description than to be of such a son the child, was the master 
worker of Bishop Pudsey's mint. It is not easy to understand how, 
only forty years after Stella was granted to the nuns, it was held 
by the Bishop's moneyer. It is conjectured," says Surtees, " that 
Pudsey had merely taken, by virtue of his power and dignity, a 
life interest of his office out of a portion of an estate which did not 



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64 

belong to him, as he subsequently confirmed the former grant of 
Stellinglei to the nuns, giving them by the same charter, in pure 
and perpetual alms 'Twille,' in exchange for ' Olworthe.' " 

According to a manuscript in the Bodleian library, this Nunnery 
owed its origin to an ancient baron of the name of Hilton. 
Numerous and valuable donations and grants poured into this 
receptacle of fair devotees. Notwithstanding these advantages, 
the convent fell into a state of miserable poverty, accompanied by 
a relaxation of discipline ; for in 1363 Bishop Hatfield appointed a 
commission to visit the convent, in order to punish crimes and 
reform abuses. In 15 13 the Mayor and Corporation of Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne obtained a lease of the Nun's Moor for one hundred 
years, at the annual rent of 3s. 4d. This was one of the religious 
houses which Henry VIII. re-founded and preserved from the 
general dissolution in 1537 ; but it was suppressed on the 3rd 
January, 1540, at which time the establishment consisted of a 
prioress and nine nuns. The house was granted to William 
Barantyne Kenelme Throgmorton and Henry Annetson; it 
became afterwards the property of Lady Gavecre, from whom it 
passed by purchase to Robert Anderson, who levelled the fabric 
with the ground. Stella seems to have been one of their wealthiest 
possessions, and just as Benwell Tower was the summer residence 
of the Priors of Tynemouth, Stella probably would be a similar 
residence for the Nuns of Newcastle. At the time of the Dissolu- 
tion, among the estates of the Nunnery within the Bishopric of 
Duresme, occurs Stellingley, by yer £$ 13s. 4d. 

Shortly after the Suppression, Stella became the property and 
residence of the Tempests of Newcastle, a mercantile branch of 
the ancient house of Holmeside. Nicholas Tempest of Stella, 
born 1553, was created a baronet the 23rd December, 1622. He 
married Isabel, daughter of Robert Lampton of Lampton, Esq. 
Sir Nicholas is described on the monument to his memory 
in Ry ton Church, as " Soldier and Baronet." He died March 
28th, 1625. Stella seems to have been the home of other mem- 
bers of the family, for the following entry occurs in the parish 
register: — "1617-18, Feb. 3rd, Mr. William Tempest of Stillaye, 
gentilV [bur.]. As Sir Nicholas had no son of that name, probably 
William was his brother. 

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Thomas Tempest of Stella, Bart, who married Troth, daughter of 
Sir Richard Tempest of Bracewell, Co. York, Knt He was 
succeeded in 1641 by his son, Sir Richard Tempest, Baronet, 
colonel of a regiment of foot in the service of Charles L, styled 
of Stanley. He married Sarah, daughter of Sir Thomas Campbell, 
Lord Mayor of London, and dying in 1662, was succeeded by his 
only surviving son, Sir Thomas Tempest, Bart, who was baptised 
6th September, 1642. He married Alice, daughter and co-heir of 
William Hodgson, of Hebburn and Winlaton. By this marriage 
the Tempests became owners of three-eighths of the manor of 
Winlaton. Sir Thomas Tempest died in 1692, leaving Jane, an 
only surviving daughter and heir to her brother Sir Francis Tempest, 
who married, in 1700, William, the fourth Lord Widdrington. 
This lady died in 17 14, up to which period, and during the reign 
of the four Stuart kings, the Tempest family had resided at Stella 
" in Catholic splendour and loyalty." The Tempests were largely 
interested in coal-mining at Stella and the neighbourhood. 

The Widdringtons received their surname from a fine old castle 
at Widdrington, which stood in a large beautiful park of six 
hundred acres, eight miles north-east of Morpeth. Widdrington 
was long the seat of a family of that name, who had often signalised 
themselves by their valour in the wars against the Scots. Sir 
William Widdrington was expelled from the House of Commons 
in 1642, for refusing to attend it, and for raising forces for the 
defence of Charles L, who created him Baron Widdrington of 
Blankney in 1643. After the Battle of Marston Moor, he fled 
beyond the seas, and his estates were sequestered by Parliament. 
Lord Widdrington returned to Britain along with Prince Charles 
in 1650, and accompanied him on his march from Edinburgh to 
Carlisle, where he was proclaimed King of England. At Wigan, 
in Lancashire, he was left behind with the Earl of Derby and 
several other gentlemen, with about two hundred horse. But 
Lord Derby was surprised next day by a superior force under 
Major General Lilbourne, and after a short encounter, they were 
all either slain or taken prisoners. Among the killed was Lord 
Widdrington, who had so loyally and gallantly fought for the two 
Stuart kings. Lord Widdrington was succeeded by William, Lord 
Widdrington, who was one of the Council of State entrusted with 
the executive power by the " Rump Parliament," previous to its 

6 



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dissolution by General Monk in 1660. This nobleman was 
succeeded by bis son William, Lord Widdrington, who, as we 
have seen, married in 1700 Jane, the daughter of Sir Thomas 
Tempest of Stella, at which place he resided for sixteen years. 

In the year 1715, Lord Widdrington joined the Earl of Derwent- 
water and Mr. Forster in the first Jacobite Rebellion, which had 
for its object the restoration of the family of Stuart to the throne. 
Those who favoured the rising were principally old families of 
rank in the north and west of England, and in Scotland. It was 
only in the north of England that the English Jacobites presented 
in any degree a formidable appearance. Attended by a number 
of retainers, the Earl of Derwentwater met Mr. Forster, with a few 
followers, at a place called Green Rig, on the top of a hill in the 
parish of Birtley, North Tyne. Next morning they proceeded to 
Warkworth, where they were joined by Lord Widdrington. Forster 
was now made commander-in-chief, not for any military skill that 
he possessed, but because he was a Protestant, it being considered 
unwise to select a Catholic to fill that position. From Warkworth 
the insurgents marched to Alnwick, where they proclaimed James 
III. Proceeding to Morpeth, they were joined at Felton Bridge 
by seventy horse from the Scottish border, so that they now 
amounted to three hundred, the highest number which they ever 
attained. At this critical juncture the Corporation of Newcastle 
evinced their loyalty and attachment to the House of Hanover by 
embodying the militia and train bands, and placing the town in *a 
state of defence. This action on the part of the Corporation was 
a severe disappointment to the insurgents. Sir William Blackett 
at that time represented Newcastle in Parliament ; he was extens- 
ively engaged in the coal trade, was a large employer of labour, 
and one of the best known men in the north of England. The 
Jacobites regarded Sir William as being favourable to their project, 
and on this account expected an easy capture of the town. And 
to add to the disappointment of the insurgents, the Earl of Scar- 
borough, lord lieutenant of the county of Northumberland, entered 
Newcastle, accompanied by his friends and the neighbouring 
gentry, with their tenantry, all mounted and well armed. A body 
of seven hundred volunteers were raised for the immediate pro- 
tection of the town ; and the keelmen, who, with the rest of the 
loyal inhabitants, had signed an article of association for mutual 



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defence, offered an additional guard of seven hundred men, to be 
ready at half an hour's notice. A battalion of foot, and part of a 
regiment of dragoons who arrived during these military prepar- 
ations, completed the garrison. Not only were the inhabitants of 
Newcastle loyal to the House of Hanover, but the owners of 
Ravensworth, Gibside and Axwell espoused the same cause, which 
compelled the insurgents to retire to Hexham, where they proclaimed 
King James, nailing the proclamation to the market-cross, where 
it was allowed to remain several days after they had left the town. 

In the meantime the Jacobites in the south-west of Scotland 
had also risen in insurrection, and placing Viscount Kenmure, a 
Protestant nobleman, at their head, proposed by a sudden effort 
to possess themselves of the town of Dumfries ; but finding that 
he could not with a handful of cavalry obtain possession of the 
town, he resolved to unite his forces with those of his Northumber- 
land allies, and with that object he proceeded through Hawick and 
Jedburgh, over the border to Rothbury, where the junction was 
effected. 

Intelligence of this rising in the south of Scotland and in the 
north of England, having reached the Earl of Mar, he was urged 
to quit Perth, for the purpose of effecting a junction with the 
forces of the south ; it being considered essential to the success of 
the insurrection, that considerable detachments of Mar's army 
should be sent to strengthen the cause in the south ; and it was 
arranged that two thousand five hundred men under Brigadier 
Mackintosh of Borlum, should attempt the exploit of eluding the 
English squadron of observation in the Forth, and march south- 
ward. 

The main body of the insurgents entered England on the ist of 
November, and passed the night at the small town of Brampton, 
about nine miles east of Carlisle, where they proclaimed the 
Chevalier with the usual ceremonies. Here also Mr. Forster 
opened his commission as their general, which had been sent to 
him by the Earl of Mar. The force under Mr. Forster at this 
period consisted of only nine hundred Highlanders, and about six 
hundred Northumbrian and Dumfriesshire horsemen. Mr. Forster 
pushed through Appleby and Kendal, to Kirkby Lonsdale, and 
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several Roman Catholic gentlemen, who brought with them their 
servants and tenantry, to the number of twelve hundred men. 

In the meantime, General Willis had collected the royal forces 
which were quartered at Manchester and Wigan, and advanced to 
Preston, to give the insurgents battle. For some reason, which it 
is impossible to reconcile either with common sense or military 
experience, Forster had neglected to defend a most important post, 
the bridge over the Ribble, by which road alone the enemy could 
have reached him ; and drawing his men into the centre of the 
town, contented himself with causing barricades to be formed in 
the principal streets. General Willis attacked the insurgents at 
two different points of their temporary defences. The attack is 
described as a highly spirited one; but they were received with at 
least equal gallantry ; and night shortly afterwards setting in, the 
royalists were compelled to withdraw, after having suffered con- 
siderable loss. The slight success, however, obtained by the 
insurgents, proved but of little service to them. Early the following 
morning General Carpenter, who had followed them by forced 
marches from the south of Scotland, made his appearance with a 
reinforcement of three regiments of dragoons : immediately the 
town was invested on all sides ; and it became evident to the 
besieged that further opposition was out of the question. The 
Highlanders expressed their determination to sally out, sword in 
hand, and cut their way through the King's troops ; but with some 
difficulty they were prevailed upon to listen to the arguments of 
their leaders ; and accordingly, the whole of the insurgent force 
laid down their arms and surrendered themselves at discretion. 
Among the persons of note who fell into the hands of the govern- 
ment, in consequence of the surrender at Preston, were Lords 
Derwentwater, Widdrington, Nithisdale, Wintoun, Carnwath, 
Kenmure, and Nairn, besides several members of the first families 
in the north of England. The noblemen and principal leaders of 
the insurrection were sent prisoners to London, and after having 
been led through the streets pinioned as malefactors, were com- 
mitted either to the Tower or to Newgate. The common men 
were imprisoned chiefly in the gaols of Liverpool or Manchester. 
About a month after their arrival, they were severally impeached of 
high treason. 

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judgment should not be passed upon him according to law, he 
replied : — " My lords, I have abandoned all manner of defence 
ever since I first surrendered myself to his Majesty's royal clemency, 
and only now beg leave to repeat to your lordships some circum- 
stances of my unhappy case. You see before you an unfortunate 
man, who after leading a private and retired life for many years, 
has by one rash and inconsiderate action, exposed himself and his 
family to the greatest calamity and misery, and is now upon the 
point of receiving the severest sentence directed by any of our 
English laws. I do protest to your lordships that I was never 
privy to any concerted measures against his Majesty's royal 
person or the established government. As to the insurrection in 
Northumberland, I only heard of it accidentally the night before 
it happened ; and being soon after informed that all my neighbours 
and acquaintances had met in arms, a crowd of confused and 
mistaken notions hurried me at once into a precipitate resolution 
of joining them — a resolution which I must own, I could never 
since calmly reflect upon, without part of that confusion I find 
myself under in the public acknowledgment of so much rashness 
and folly. After thus plunging out of my depth, as unprepared for 
such an enterprise as the action was unpremeditated, I cannot for 
my own particular, upon the strictest recollection, charge myself 
with any violation of the principles of my fellow-subjects ; but on 
the contrary, I always endeavoured to encourage humanity and 
moderation during the whole course of our miserable expedition ; 
and in order to make the best atonement in my power for the 
great fault I have been guilty of, I can justly say that I was in no 
small degree instrumental in procuring a general submission to his 
Majesty I have only to add my most solemn assur- 
ance before this august assembly, that no future time will ever find 
me wanting in the most inviolable duty and gratitude to that 
merciful prince who gives me my life, and restores a father to five 
miserable and distressed orphans ; and I shall always retain the 
highest esteem and veneration for your lordships and the honourable 
House of Commons." 

Lord Widdrington was correct when in his statement of defence 
he declared that he was "in no small degree instrumental in 
procuring a general submission to his Majesty," for it was at the 



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instigation of Lord Widdrington and a few others, that Colonel 
Oxburgh went to the English general to ask terms of surrender. 

On the 9th February, 17 16, Earl Cowper sentenced the prisoners 
in the old fashion, namely : — " That you, James, Earl of Derwent- 
water ; William, Lord Widdrington ; William, Earl of Nithisdale ; 
Robert, Earl of Carnwath; William, Viscount Kenmure; William, 
Lord Nairn ; and every one of you, return to the prison of the 
Tower from which you came ; thence you must be drawn to the 
place of execution, when there you must be hanged by the neck — 
not till you be dead ; for you must be cut down alive, then your 
bowels taken out and burned before your faces. Your heads 
must be severed from your bodies, and your bodies divided 
into four quarters, to be at the king's disposal. And God Almighty 
be merciful to your souls." After the sentence was passed, the 
prisoners were removed to the Tower. Lord Derwentwater and 
Lord Kenmure were executed on the 24th of February, 17 16. 
Lord Nithisdale and Lord Wintoun escaped, and Lord Widdrington 
was reprieved. The estates of Lord Widdrington, worth about 
;£i 2,000 per annum, were confiscated; but the estates of Stella 
and Stanley were restored to him in the year 1733. After living 
many years in retirement, he died at Bath in 1745. According to 
ail accounts, Lord Derwentwater held Lord Widdrington in high 
esteem, declaring "my Lord Widdrington was a man of greater 
experience than himself, and thought a wise man by most people, 
therefore could serve his king and country better than he (Lord 
Derwentwater) could." Patten, the historian of the Rebellion, says 
of Widdrington, " I never could discover anything like boldness 
or bravery in him ; " but the writer of the Jacobite melody, " Lord 
Derwentwater's Good Night," describes Derwentwater as saying : — 

"Then fare thee well, brave Widdrington." 

Unlike his great grand-father — Lord Widdrington, who gallantly 
fell in the cause of Charles I. at Wigan Lane — the owner of Stella 
was no soldier ; but the little that is known of him marks him as 
pious, charitable, and honourable. 

The eldest son of the attainted Lord Widdrington, Henry Francis 
Widdrington, succeeded to the estates of Stella and Stanley, which 
were his mother's inheritance. Deprived of his paternal estate and 
his hereditary honours, but commonly known as Lord Widdrington, 



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he led a long life of peace in obscurity, and dying at Turnham 
Green in the year 1772, was buried in St, Pancras, London. By 
his will he left the Stella estate first to Thomas Eyre, of Hassop, 
Esq., and his heirs male. Thomas Eyre died without heirs male 
on March 26th, 1792, and the estate became the property of 
Edward T. S. Standish of Standish, Esq., who also died without 
heirs, on March 27th, 1807, when Stella fell to John Towneley of 
Towneley, who died on May 14th, 181 3, and was succeeded by 
his son, Peregrine Towneley, who died on December 31st, 1846. 
Charles Towneley, the eldest son of Peregrine, held the estate till 
his death on November 14th, 1876, leaving three daughters. 
Charles was succeeded by his brother John Towneley, who died 
on February 2 1st, 1878. John Towneley had a son Richard, who 
did not live to enjoy the estates, and for some time they were held 
by the widow of John Towneley. Afterwards a private Act of 
Parliament, called the "Towneley Estate Act," was passed, which 
apportioned the Lancashire estates to the daughters of Charles 
Towneley ; and those in Yorkshire and Durham to the daughters 
of John Towneley. 

Theresa Harriet Mary, daughter of John Towneley, is the wife of 
John Delacour, of Thorneyholme, county of York ; Lucy Evelyn, 
the wife of Lieut. -Colonel John Murray of Polmaise, in the county 
of Stirling ; Mary Elizabeth Towneley, of Namur, in the kingdom 
of Belgium, unmarried ; and Mabel Anne, the wife of the right 
honourable Lewis Henry Hugh, Baron Clifford, of Chudleigh, in 
the county of Devon. 

Stella Hall. 

This fine old mansion, the residence of Joseph Cowen, Esq., 
is pleasantly situated at the east end of Stella village. It 
occupies the site of the old Nunnery, which fell into disuse at 
the Suppression of the Monasteries. Erected by the Tempests of 
Newcastle — a mercantile branch of the ancient house of Holmeside 
— the Hall is built in that style of architecture which prevailed in 
the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It is in the form'of a cross, and 
consists of centre, east and west wings, and a range of rooms on 
the north side. The house was considerably altered at the 
end of the last century, the alterations including the removal 



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of several of the Elizabethan windows, and the insertion of the 
present ones. Payne, who designed Axwell Hall, Bradley Hall, 
and Gibside Chapel, superintended the alteration of the structure 
Other alterations were made in 1840, under the direction of Mr. 
John Dobson, architect. Over the principal entrance, on the 
south side, are the arms of the Tempests. Argent : a bend engrailed 
between six martlets, sable ; Crest : on a wreath, a martlet, sable. 
Under the arms is the following Latin inscription : conivigio 

INSIGNI MANIBVS, COGNOMINE, CORDE, VT LAPIDI LAPIS, EST 

femina ivncta viro. Translation : By a noteworthy union — a 
union of hand, name, and heart — a woman is as closely united to 
her husband as is a stone set to a stone. 

The Entrance Hall extends the whole length of the building 
between the east and west wings. It was in this spacious apart- 
ment that Lord Widrington entertained his friends and servants to 
breakfast on the morning of their departure to join the Earl of 
Derwentwater and General Forster, in the ill-fated Rebellion of 
1 7 15. The Library is on the ground-floor of the east wing, and 
contains many rare and costly volumes. The walls are adorned 
with portraits of a number of remarkable men, including Cromwell 
and Milton, Mazzini, Orsini, Garibaldi, and Lincoln. There is in 
one of the windows of the Library, a portrait in stained glass, of 
the late Dr. Rutherford. The west wing contains a handsome 
Drawing Room, from the windows of which a beautiful view of the 
Park may be obtained. 

One of the original features of the Hall is the old domestic 
chapel, which was used for public worship until the erection of the 
present Catholic chapel at Stella, in 1831. 

The Dining Room contains several fine portraits of the Cowen 
family, including a painting of the late Sir Joseph Cowen by 
Mr. H. H. Emmerson, presented to Sir Joseph by the inhabit- 
ants ot Blaydon, and portraits of the late Mrs. Cowen, Mr. 
Joseph Cowen, Mr. Joseph Cowen, junr., and Miss Jane Cowen. 
An old painting of Lord Widdrington, as well as a great 
number of valuable and interesting pictures, adorn the walls of the 
Hall. There are on the Stair-walls pieces of old tapestry; one 
of which represents " Hero and Leander," and another, " The 
Voyage of the Argosy in search of the Golden Fleece." The latter 
is considered to be one of the finest pieces of tapestry in England. 



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The Hall fronts a park comprising about twenty-one acres, which 
is pleasantly diversified with rising grounds and clumps of trees. 

Formerly the park wall enclosed Image Hill, five acres ; and 
Summer-house Hill, thirty-three acres. The principal entrance 
was at Peth-head. Two images, representing Apollo and -dEscu- 
lapius, once stood on Image Hill ; these interesting relics of a 
bygone time are now preserved near the hall. The old summer- 
house of the Widdringtons still stands on the hill which bears its 
name ; but for many years it has ceased to answer its original 
purpose. A figure of Garibaldi, placed there by the late Mr. 
Robert Eadie of Blaydon, stands on the north side of the summer- 
house. Part of Summer-house Hill has, for a number of years, 
been used by the people of Blaydon and Stella, as a recreation 
ground. 

The gardens connected with Stella Hall, which are large and 
well sheltered, are on the west side ; and the stables are on the 
north side of the house. 

There is in the park an old oak, said to be a remnant of the 
forest which formerly extended from Newcastle to Hexham. 

The Battle of Stella Haughs. 

In 1637, King Charles I. and Archbishop Laud endeavoured to 
force on Scotland the religious service of the Church of England. 
A riot took place in St. Giles's Church, Edinburgh, when the 
minister began to read the printed service, and all Scotland was 
in a state of excitement. 

In 1638, Scottish nobles, gentry, ministers and citizens joined 
in signing the Covenant, in which they agreed to help each other 
in preventing religious changes in Scotland. At the end of the 
same year, a General Assembly at Glasgow declared that there 
must be no bishops in Scotland, no High Commission Court, and 
no liturgy, or printed form of service. 

War then arose between England and Scotland, and Charles 
went to Berwick ; but want of money soon forced him to disband 
his army. At last, in April, 1640, Charles was obliged to call a 
new Parliament. The Commons would grant him no money in 
taxes, until his evil rule was amended. Thereupon the King 
dissolved the Parliament in anger ; and a riot arose in London, 



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the people attacking Laud's palace at Lambeth. Soon after this, 
a mob forced its way into St Paul's Cathedral, and drove off in 
terror the High Commission Court, which never sat again. 

On the 21st August, 1640, the Scots crossed the river Tweed, 
in order, as they said, "to lay their most humble and loving 
petition, for the redress of grievances, at the royal feet of their 
most sacred sovereign," Charles I. Upon the arrival of the Scbts 
on the English border, the soldiers were commended by their 
ministers in prayer to the care of the Lord of Hosts ; and then — 
for the purpose of obtaining forage for their horses, and the droves 
of cattle and sheep which they carried along with them out of 
Scotland — they divided the army into three bodies, one under the 
command of L. Almond, the Lieutenant-General ; another was led 
by Major-General Baillie; and General Leslie brought up the 
rear. They kept all within sight, or ten miles from one another ; 
and, after a slow march through Northumberland, they met by 
appointment on Newcastle Moor, on the 26th of August. From 
thence the committee wrote two letters, one to the commander-in- 
chief of the army at Newcastle, and another to the mayor and 
aldermen. These letters they sent by the drum-major of Lord 
Montgomery's brigade, but they were sent back unopened. 
Whereupon the army turned to the right, and encamped beside 
Newburn, on the north side of the Tyne, on August 27th. Rush- 
worth, in his "Historical Collections," states that, "On the 27th 
of August (1640), in the forenoon, his majesty received intelligence 
from the Lord Conway, that the Scots would that night be near 
Newcastle with their army, craving his majesty's pleasure and 
directions about the disposing of his army to the interruption of 
the march of the Scots. 

" The king immediately called the gentry of Yorkshire, then at 
York, together, to wait upon his majesty, to whom the Earl of 
Strafford made a speech ; presently after he prepared a packet to 
be sent post to the Lord Conway, then understanding the Scots 
were come near Newcastle ; and the author of these 'Collections' 
being newly come post from London to York, and hearing a 
packet was about to be sent to Newcastle, took the opportunity to 
bear the messenger company therewith ; but when the author and 
the messenger with the packet came to Newcastle, upon the 28th 
of August, in the morning, they were informed that the Lord 



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Conway was gone to the main array, near Newburn, whither we 
went immediately, and found the Lord Conway and the field- 
officers at a council of war at Stella, half a mile distant from the 
army, and delivered the Lord Conway the packet, which, being 
opened, it contained special orders to prepare the army for an 
engagement with the Scots." 

The council of war would probably be held in Stella Hall. 
A few years ago, a thatched cottage stood nearly opposite to the 
Catholic chapel, in which tradition states that the officers of the 
royalist army under Conway stopped the night before the battle. 
The dwelling was a public house, containing three rooms — one 
large room and two smaller ones. It would be in the large room 
that the gallant cavaliers spent the night in riot and drinking. 
The estimated, number of the Scots army was 20,000 foot and 
2,500 horse. According to Rushworth, the number of the English 
was 3,000 foot, and 1,500 horse. Baillie fixes the number of the 
English at 4,000 or 5,000 foot, and 2,500 horse. 

Stella Haughs, the scene of the battle, is about a mile long from 
east to west, and four hundred yards from the river to the hill-side 
at Hedgefield, where the English cannon were placed. Formerly 
the Haughs, on account of the Tyne frequently overflowing its 
banks, consisted almost entirely of marshy or boggy land. In a 
plan of Stella, dated 1779, about ten acres at the east eriti of 
the Haughs are named "The Hassocks," from the ground pro- 
ducing nothing but rushes. The river was crossed by four fords : 
the Cromwell, at the northern bend of the river, at the east end of 
the Haughs, received its name from the Protector crossing the 
river at this point when marching to Dunbar in 1650. About four 
hundred yards west of the Cromwell ford was the Kelso ford, 
which was seldom used, on account of the depth of the river even 
at low tide. 

There were two other fords at the west end of Stella Haughs, 
one about forty yards on the west of the old "Alnwick House" — 
which is still standing ; and the other where the Newburn Bridge 
crosses the river. These were undoubtedly the two fords by which 
the Scots crossed the river to attack the English. In the field on 
the south side of the " Alnwick House," are the remains of an old 
waggon way, which have been regarded by some people as erections 
to protect the English soldiers from the Scots cannon. In the 



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plan of Stella (1779), the rising ground at Hedgefield, on the west 
side of Addison colliery, is named "The Forts," where in all proba- 
bility the English placed their cannon. The "Forts" are directly 
opposite to the two fords at the west end of the Haughs, and at a 
distance of four hundred yards from the river. Here the English 
raised two batteries, one opposite to each ford, and set about five 
hundred musketeers, with four pieces of cannon, to defend each 
battery, and thereby stop the passage of the Scots, if they should 
attempt to cross the river ; and the rest of their forces were drawn 
up in a meadow, at the foot of a hill, nearly a mile behind them, 
probably on the rising ground behind Hedgefield church. On the 
north side of the river lay the Scots army, and the ground on that 
side being higher than on the south, they had the advantage of 
seeing the exact position of the English trenches, and by the help 
of the houses in Newburn, and of the trees and shrubs, to plant 
their cannon directly opposite to them without being discovered. 
While the two parties were thus stationed, the Earl of Strafford 
sent an express to Lord Conway, acquainting him of his near 
approach with the rear of the king's army, and ordering him to 
gather the rest of the army together, and to prepare for an engage- 
ment. But before this order could be put in execution, a change 
of affairs was occasioned by a slight incident. A Scottish officer 
watering his horse in the river, an English soldier seeing him fix 
his eyes on their trenches, shot him ; and he falling from his horse, 
the Scots musketeers fired upon the English, and their cannon — 
especially some which they had placed upon the steeple of New- 
burn church, fired with so much success upon the English trenches, 
that, immediately, the soldiers placed in them* were greatly dis- 
ordered : about twenty of them were killed, and notwithstanding 
. the bravery of Colonel Lunsford, who commanded there, the rest 
could hardly be restrained from flying. Burnett says that the 
cannon were made of bar-iron, hooped like a barrel with cords 
and wet raw hides. They were carried on horse-back, and bore 
several discharges. Several cannon balls have been found at 
Newburn ; one found about two years ago, imbedded in a beam 
of timber, is three inches in diameter, and weighs three pounds. 
By this time it was low water, and Sir Thomas Hope the younger, 
of Craighill, having the van of the horse, was ordered to march 
through the river with his troop, consisting all of gentlemen, 



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members of the College of Justice, commonly called "the General's 
life-guards;" and, to support these, passed also Colonel David 
Leslie, with four troops of his own and a troop of Sir Patrick 
McGhie's, who pursued the English with great success, and made 
every man prisoner who had the courage to abide by the batteries. 
The rest fled towards their main body, till they came to a narrow 
pass, where they rallied. The narrow pass was probably the bridle 
path which at that time led from Ryton to Blaydon, and which 
afterwards became the present Hexham turnpike. Sir Thomas 
Hope's troop being still in the van, encountered the English with 
great bravery, and, being well supported by Colonel Leslie, bore 
down all before them; but, pursuing their advantage too far, 
they were in hazard of being cut off: for no less than twelve 
troops of the best horse the English had, were by this time come 
up to support their foot, and the rest of the forces were fast 
advancing (probably by the old Blaydon road), which, General 
Leslie perceiving, he sent up Colonels Ramsay and Blair with 
six troops of horse and one thousand musketeers to their 
relief, with orders to retire, if forced to it, under the protection 
of the Scots cannon, till a sufficient number of foot were got 
up to support them. The English horse, not attending suffi- 
ciently to the Scots cannon, ventured too far, and received 
two or three smart fires, which threw them into great disorder, 
and obliged them to retire in the utmost confusion, for the assist- 
ance of the main body. The whole of the Scots army now marched 
to the scene of the battle ; but by the time the brigades com- 
manded by Lords Lowdoun, Lindsay, Queensberry and Mont- 
gomery, who were in the van of the foot, had joined the horse, the 
battle was ended, and the English had thrown down their arms 
and retired in great disorder. The foot retreated up Ryton and 
Stella banks, to a wood not far off, and their horse, covering the 
retreat, were considerably worsted, a number of them being killed, 
and many taken prisoners. The wood was probably near to 
Stargate. Tradition states that when the Scots reached this place, 
that on account of the steepness of the hill which they had to climb 
in pursuing the English, they were "staw'd" of the engagement; 
hence " Stawgate," staw in the north country signifying more 
than enough of anything. 

" In this engagement, " says Rushworth, " Cornet Potter, son of 



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Endymion Potter of the bed-chamber, was slain, and during the 
whole fight about sixty men more, as the Scots told us after the 
cessation ofjarms was agreed unto, for the Scots buried the dead; 
and afterwards they further told us that most of them that were killed 
lay about the works; how many of the Scots were slain we know not." 
After the retreat of the English, Lord Conway called a council 
of war at Newcastle, and it was there resolved at twelve at night, 
that the whole army should retreat to Durham, horse, and foot, 
and train of artillery, and to quit Newcastle. Tradition has 
it that part of the English army rested in the church lands at 
Whickham, and in the fields adjoining, and that before leaving they 
fired their tents; this fire communicated with a small seam of coal, 
which burned for several years, and at night flames issued from 
different parts of the village and grounds adjoining. This tradition 
is supported by the fact that a stratum of calcined stones and earth 
extends from the east end of Whickham to the west end, and for 
about one hundred yards on the north side of the village. 

The day after the English army left Newcastle, the Scots 
entered the town by the bridge, where the General with his life- 
guards, the Lieutenant-General, and a considerable number of the 
committee, and several other nobles and barons, with Sir William 
Douglas and his troop were heartily received by the mayor and 
aldermen, after which they went to St. Nicholas' church and heard 
a sermon by Mr. Alexander Henderson. 

This defeat of the English army produced the greatest conster- 
nation on the south side of the Tyne. "The parsons of Rye 
(Ryton) and of Whickham, first rifled their own houses and then 
fled, leaving nothing but a few play books and pamphlets, and one 
old cloake, with an old woman, being the only living Christian in 
the towne ; the rest being fled." 

The Bishopric was ordered to pay a fine of ^350 a day so long 
as the Scots remained. Before this heavy exaction the people fled 
in dismay, so that not one house in ten was occupied. The 
county suffered equally from the ravages of the troops, and from 
the attempts of the Royalists to prevent them from obtaining food. 
An order was made that the upper millstones were to be taken 
away and buried, so that the Scots might not be able to grind their 
corn. When the Scots withdrew their forces, the Bishopric was 
saddled with a payment of ^25,000. 



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Blaydon Races, which commenced in 1861, and which were 
held for a few years on the Island, have, since 1864, been held on 
Stella Haughs. 



Cromwell at Stella. 

On June 29th, 1650, Oliver Cromwell left London to march 
into Scotland, where he was to meet General Leslie, who defeated 
the English under Lord Conway on Stella Haughs, in 1640. 

On July 15th, the main army of Cromwell was at Newcastle. 
For two days the army had rested at Whickham. The cannon 
and heavy baggage had been sent round by Clockburn Lane, and 
after fording the Derwent at Winlaton Mill, and advancing by the 
Birk Gate to Winlaton and Stella, crossed the Tyne at the bend of 
the river at the east end of Stella Haughs, and met the Protector 
with his main army on the north side of the Tyne. The ford by 
which part of the army crossed the river is still called "the 
Cromwell." On July 22nd, Cromwell crossed the Tweed, and on 
September 3rd he met the veteran Leslie at Dunbar, where the 
Scotch were defeated, 4,000 being killed, and above 10,000 taken 
prisoners. 

Meldon old water corn-mill stood at the foot of the Temple 
Bank, a little within the west wall of the park, and about one 
hundred yards below the dam or weir-head of the present mill. 
Here, according to the statement of Mr. Ralph Nixon, a respect- 
able and intelligent man, whose ancestors for several generations 
resided in the vicinity of Meldon, Oliver Cromwell tarried and fed 
his troops of horse, on his return from Scotland in 165 1. If we 
suppose the tradition to be founded on truth, this occurrence must 
have taken place on the nth of August, the day on which the 
lord-general left the manor house of Netherwitton ; for on the 12th 
he crossed the Tyne at Newburn, and proceeded forthwith to 
encamp his forces on the haugh below Ryton, himself withdrawing 
to Stella Hall, where he resided previous to his departure south- 
ward for Worcester. — Richardson. Among the accounts of the 
Corporation of Newcastle there is the following entry: — " 165 1> 
Paid for a present to the Lord-General Cromwell when he was at 
Stella, ;£ S o." 



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Stella House. 

This house stands at the east end of Stella, and at the bottom 
of what is known as the old Leadgate. It is two storeys high, with 
projecting attic windows. It was built about the beginning 
of the eighteenth century, and was evidently smaller at one 
time than it is now, as the ends of the house appear to be of 
a more modern date than the centre. It was probably erected 
for the accommodation of one of the managers at the staiths. 
At one time it was the residence of the Siivertop family. Robert 
Edington, who wrote in 1813, "A Treatise on the Coal Trade, 
with Strictures on its Abuses, and Hints for Amelioration/' says : — 
" On the east side of Stella, close adjoining to the river, facing the 
rising sun, is the seat of the late George Siivertop, Esq. From 
its beautiful situation the keelmen call it by the name of the * Rising 
Sun.' He was one of the leading coal owners of his day, was of 
extensive knowledge and of strict honour and integrity ; he had 
travelled and had been introduced to all the foreign courts of 
Europe, was so much respected that his famous Whitefleld coals 
had the preference of all other collieries on the continent. By his 
industry he had accumulated an ample fortune honourably got." 
The Silvertops lived at Ryton in the sixteenth century. There is the 
following entry in the parish register :— ''1608, April 17th. Anne 
Siivertop, widdow, of Ryton towne [bur.]." The family seems to 
have left the village of Ryton about that time, and removed to 
Stella. 

William Siivertop of Stella, married Ann Galley. They had a 
son, Albert Siivertop, born February 16th, 1667. The Ryton 
parish register contains the following entry : — " William Siivertop 
of Bladen, and 17 more, buried 28th May, 1682. These 18 were 
drowned 28th May, 1682." This William Siivertop, who may 
have removed to Blaydon after his marriage, was probably the 
father of Albert. Albert Siivertop married Mary, the daughter of 
Joseph Dunn of Blaydon. He died in 1738, and left a son, 
George Siivertop, born 22nd February, 1705, who married Bridget, 
daughter of Henry Whittingham of Whittingham Hall, Lancashire. 
He purchased the estate of Minsteracres, built the Hall, and 
founded a mission on the estate in 1766, for the use of the family. 
He was succeeded by his only son, John Siivertop, who married 



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in 1777, Catherine, second daughter of Sir Henry Lawson of 
Brough Hall, Yorkshire, by whom he had issue — first, George 
Silvertop, born January 6th, 1775; second, John, who died young; 
third, Henry, born 28th May, 1779, married Elizabeth, daughter of 
Thomas Witham, Esq., niece and heiress of William Witham of 
Cliffe, Ebor, Esq., on which he assumed the name of Witham, and 
had a numerous offspring; fourth, Charles, born 16th January, 
1 781, colonel in the Spanish service; fifth, Mary, died young. 

George Silvertop visited Napoleon at Elba, and it was partly on 
account of a conversation that Silvertop had with Napoleon that 
the latter was induced to quit the place of his imprisonment. 
O'Meara, in his " Voice from St. Helena," says, " He (Silvertop) 
visited Napoleon at Elba, and in the course of conversation 
related that he had dined a few weeks before with the Duke de 
Fleury, with whom he had a conversation relative to the sum of 
money to be allowed the exile annually by France, according to 
the agreement that had been signed by the ministers of the allied 
powers. The Duke laughed at him for supposing for a moment 
that it would be complied with, and said they were not such fools. 
'This,' said that extraordinary man, Napoleon, 'was one of the 
reasons which induced me to quit Elba/" George Silvertop thus 
was an indirect factor in bringing about the Battle of Waterloo, 
for had Napoleon not been induced to quit Elba, the famous 
struggle at Waterloo would not have taken place. It was George 
Silvertop who invited John Graham Lough to his beautiful mansion 
at Minsteracres, and showed him several works of art by Michael 
Angelo and Canova. Those art treasures were probably the first 
that Lough saw, and no doubt would produce a powerful impres- 
sion on the mind of the young sculptor. George Silvertop died 
on the 20th February, 1849, and was buried at Ryton. No member 
of the Silvertop family resides at present in the township of Ryton. 

Stella House, in the year 1828, was the residence of Edward 
Emerson, iron founder. Afterwards it was occupied by Thomas 
Young Hall, mining engineer, and subsequently by Mr. Joseph 
Cowen, late M.P. for Newcastle-on-Tyne. At present it is the 
residence of Mr. Joseph Roberts. 



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The Coal Trade. 

Coals were extensively worked at Stella and the neighbourhood, 
at an early period in the history of coal-mining. Stella, lying 
alongside of the river, was suitable for the erection of staiths, 
to which the coals were carried from Winlaton, Ryton, Kyo, 
Crawcrook, &c, which has made the village for centuries an active 
hive of industry. Taylor, in his "Archaeology of the Coal Trade/ 
says : — "Among the documents in my possession, on the subject of 
the coal trade, I find a lease from (2 Eliz.) to Nicholas Tempest, 
of coal mines in Stella, which is called Stelley of Stellington. In 
this deed, sufficient way-leave and stay-leave are granted, with 
power to lead away the coals by all kinds of carriages. In the 
year 1622, the four principal coal owners have the following out- 
put: — Sir Nicholas Tempest, 600 tens; Mr. Charles Tempest, 140 
tens ; Mr. Thomas Tempest, 900 tens ; Sir George Selby, 750 tens." 
To ascertain the value of a ten, we will again have recourse to 
Taylor. He says: — "I find in a lease, Tempest to Emerson, 1684, 
a ten specified to be * forty fathers,' each father a wainload 
containing seven bolls and one bushel of coals, at the pit, Newcastle 
usual coal measure." A ten was equivalent to about twenty-two 
chaldrons. The price of a chaldron in 1622 was seven shillings, 
so that the price received by Sir Nicholas Tempest of Stella Hall, 
for his 600 tens, was ^4,620. We find from the "Compleat 
Collier," a clear account of the state of coal-mining in the latter 
part of the 1 7th century. There were then no underground railways 
or horses, the coals being dragged to the bottom of the pit by one 
or two persons, in corves placed on sledges. The coals were 
drawn up the pits by horses in a whin-gin, and in a pit of forty 
fathoms deep, eight horses were required every day to draw twenty- 
one scores of coal (about ninety tons), in corves made of hazel- 
rods with wooden bolts, carrying fourteen or fifteen pecks each. 
From a pay-bill in the possession of the writer, the wages received 
by the workmen at Stella Grand Lease Colliery, in the year 1740, 
are stated. 

Sir Henry Liddell, Bart, and Partners. 
Charge of Working, August, 1740. 

Hewing 30 scores at 6d. per score ... ... £0 15 o 

Putting ditto at 6d. per ditto ... ... 0150 



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84 

Bearing 30 scores at i2d. per hund 
Drawing ditto at iod. per ditto 
Horsedriver at 4d. per day 

Shoveller per week 

Smith per day 

Under Overman per ditto 

Corver, for making 3 corfs and mending 
To burning 6 sacks cinders at i£d. 
To J lb. soap for Ginn 



• £0 

o 
o 
o 
o 
o 
o 
o 
o 



Paid G. Russell for bringing 10,000 corf rods from 
Teasbank and getting them out of y e wood, last 
year 



£2 9 8 



o 13 



£s 2 8 



In 1582, Queen Elizabeth obtained a ninety-nine years' lease of 
the manors and royalties of Gateshead, Whickham, Winlaton, Ryton, 
and Stella, at the yearly rent of ninety pounds, from the Bishop 
of Durham. The Queen, however, soon after, transferred it 
to the Earl of Leicester, who afterwards assigned it to his secretary, 
Thomas Sutton, the founder of the Charter House. Sutton again, 
in consideration of ;£i2,oco, transferred it to Henry Anderson 
and William Selby. This lease, known as the Grand Lease, was 
apportioned among the Society of Hostmen, for the benefit of the 
town, and was the fruitful source of contention in after years. 
While Sutton held it, the price of coal in London was six shillings 
a chaldron; on its assignment to the Corporation, they ran the 
price to eight shillings. In 1590, the current price in London was 
advanced to nine shillings, upon which the Lord Mayor complained 
to the treasurer, Burleigh, against the town of Newcastle ; setting 
forth that the Society of Free Hosts consisted of about sixty persons, 
who had consigned their right of the Grand Lease to about eighteen 
or twenty, who engrossed the collieries at Stella, Ravensworth, 
Newburn, &c, and therefore requested that the whole of these 
might be opened and the price fixed at a maximum of seven 
shillings a chaldron. Such is the early history of the Grand Lease. 
The name is still retained by the Stella Coal Company, and is now 



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85 

applied to about five thousand acres of royalty, which they hold 
from the sub-lessees of the Bishop of Durham and the Ecclesiastical 
Commissioners. There are now five collieries belonging to the 
Stella Coal Company: the Emma Pit, sunk in 1845 ; the Stargate 
Pit, sunk in 1800 ; the Addison, sunk in 1864; the Blaydon Main, 
purchased in 1884; and the Clara Ville, sunk in 1893. The seams 
at present worked are the Towneley, Stone Coal, Five Quarter, 
and Brockwell. The Stella Coal Company became proprietors of 
the Stella and Towneley Collieries in 1837, when they succeeded 
the previous proprietors, Messrs. Dunn, John Buddie, and T. Y. 
Hall, A14erman Addison Potter, Humble Lamb, R. T. Atkinson, 
and others. 

Staiths. 

In the account of the purchase of coals at Winlaton by the 
King, in 1367, the coals were conveyed in keels and boats from 
Winlaton to Newcastle. The coals would, in all probability, be 
carried in wains, or in panniers, over the backs of horses to Stella, 
and there transferred to the "boats and keels," which had to 
convey them to Newcastle. 

John Buddie, Esq., the father of the late John Buddie, had in 
his possession a manuscript containing the following passage : — 
" It also appears that from the year 1409, demises by copy of 
Court Roll remaining in the Exchequer of Durham, have been, 
from time to time, made by the Bishop of Durham, as lord of the 
Manor of Chester, to different persons, of the coal mines and coal 
pits in Ryton and Kyo Field, which is part of Ryton, for the 
working of sea-coal, or coal to be vended and exported by sea, 
with sufficient way leading from the pit to a staith granted to be 
made upon the River Tyne, within the lord's forest, by the view 
of the forester." This document does not mention the situation 
of the staith, but there is every reason for believing it would be at 
Stella. We may infer from this interesting document, that in the 
early part of the 15th century, the south side of the higher reaches 
of the Tyne was chiefly forest. 

In a poem, "News from Newcastle," printed in 1 651, celebrating 
the coal mines of Northumberland and Durham, there is the 
following couplet : — 



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" Our staiths their mortgaged streets will soon divide 
Blathon own Cornewall, Stella share Cheapside." 

Blaydon own Cornhill is probably intended by the writer. During 
the 17th and 18th centuries, several staiths were erected at Blaydon, 
but in the coal trade it never possessed the commercial importance 
that Stella did, and at the beginning of the present century the 
staiths at Blaydon fell into disuse. In the year 1749, there stood 
between Stella Burn mouth and the "Bogle Hole," a distance of only 
three hundred and thirty yards, the staiths belonging to Lord Wid- 
drington, Mr. Morton and partners, Sir T. Clavering, Mrs. Newton, 
Sir W. Blackett, Mr. Jennison, Lionel Vane, Esq., Mr. Davison, 
Mr. Rodger, Mr. Snow, Mr. Emerson, and Miss Jenny Hunter. In 
the year 1784, a number of the staiths had disappeared. On the 
west side of the southern bend of the river, near to the present 
saw mills, was the Grand Moor staith, and eastward was the 
Whitefield staith. The west staiths have not only been abandoned, 
but even the water-course by which the keels were taken for coals, 
has been filled up. An old warehouse still marks the situation of 
the west staiths. There were three principal waggon ways by 
which the coals were taken to Stella. The Coalburns way brought 
the coals from Hedley Fell, Chopwell, and Coalburns. The 
Grand Lease, or Moor way, brought them from Ryton, Woodside, 
and the Bare (Bar) Moor. The Cowclose way brought them 
from the Strothers, Greenside and Cowclose. Another waggon 
way carried the coals from French's Close, Kyo, Bradley Moor, 
and Crawcrook, to the staiths on the side of the river opposite to 
Newburn. Another waggon way was that afterwards used in 
carrying the coals from the A, B, and C Pits to the Towneley 
staith. These coals bore the Whitefield " brand." All the coals 
of the Stella Coal Company are now sent by a private line of 
railway to the Addison Colliery, except those sent to the Stella 
staith. At the beginning of the present century, the river side 
from Dunston to Stella was lined with staiths, all of which have 
been abandoned, except one at Derwenthaugh and one at Stella. 

Roman Catholic Chapel. 

At the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540, the nunnery at 
Stella passed into the hands of the Tempests, who, however, 
appropriated a portion of Stella Hall to a Catholic church, and 



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worship was uninterruptedly conducted there until the year 1831. 
A religious census of the inhabitants of Ryton parish was taken by 
the Rev. Jonathon Mirehouse, curate, on the 12th of September, 
1780, when the number of " Papists " was 324. At another census, 
taken on the 2nd of July, 1788, the number had increased to 350. 

In the year 1794, a number of the members of the English 
Catholic Secular College at Douay, who had been taken and 
imprisoned by the Republican army in the citadel of Dourlens, in 
Picardy, managed to effect their escape to England. Some of 
them took up their residence at Crook Hall, and others at Stella. 
They subsequently settled and founded a college at Crook Hall ; 
Dr. Lingard, the historian, being the first professor of divinity, 
and vice-president. Crook Hall, in the course of a few years, was 
found too restricted for the increased establishment, ancl on the 
19th July, 1808, Ushaw College, one of the most important of the 
Roman Catholic collegiate establishments in the county, was 
opened for their use. 

The Rev. John Wilson was priest at Stella in the year 17 15 — 
the year of the first Rebellion ; he was, along with many others, 
thrust into prison for being a Roman Catholic priest ; but he was 
afterwards set at liberty, and returned to Stella, where he died. 
There is the following entry in the Ryton register : — "1725, June 
25th. John Wilson, a Romish priest, Stella [bur.]." The Rev. N. 
Witham was the next priest, but in 1726 he resigned, and his place 
was filled by the Rev. N. Rogers, who also resigned in 1730. 
The Rev. N. Hutton was the next priest, but he remained only a 
few months. 

For about two years the chapel at Stella was supplied by neigh- 
bouring pastors, when the Rev. Luke Wilson was appointed to this 
station in 1732. After staying a few years at Stella, he removed; 
and in 1737 the Rev. Thomas Greenwell, from the College of 
SS. Peter and Paul, Lisbon, took the superintendence of the 
worshippers at Stella; but in 1750 the Rev. J. Turner was invited 
by Lord Widdrington to Stella. At this time Mr, Greenwell seems 
to have formed a church at Blaydon, where he remained until his 
death. There is the following entry in the Ryton register: — 
"*753> August 26th. Mr, Thomas Greenwell, a Romish priest, 

Blaydon Church [bur.]." Whoever inserted the entries in 

the registers at Ryton, seems to have looked upon the word 



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89 

" Catholic " with horror, for we never at this time find it entered 
in the books. We find the words u Romish " and " Papist," but 
never the word " Catholic " 

The Rev. J. Turner remained at Stella for about twenty-five 
years, when he was succeeded in 1775 by the Rev. Thomas Eyre, 
who remained at Stella until 1792. The Right Rev. Dr. Matthew 
Gibson, Bishop of Comana, and Vicar Apostolic of the Northern 
District, also officiated at Stella about this time. The local papers 
of the time report his death as taking place on the 17th May, 1790. 

George Silvertop, Esq., died at Stella Hall, on March nth, 1789, 
aged eighty-five years; and Edward Horsley Widdrington Riddell, 
on the 26th June, 1793. 

The Rev. Thomas Eyre was succeeded, in 1793, by tne ^ ev * 
William Hull, who continued missionary here till 1830, when being 
incapacitated to do the duty, was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas 
S. Witham, January nth, 1830. 

The Rev. Thomas Eyre, D.D.,]when chaplain at Stella, began to 
make arrangements for building a chapel, for which purpose he 
obtained a grant of ^500 from Lady Mary Eyre, fifth daughter of 
Charlotte, Countess of Newborough, who died at Warkworth 
Castle, county of Northumberland, 27th August, 1798. The 
interest of this sum subsequently swelled the amount to ^900. 
George Silvertop of Minsteracres, also subscribed ;£ioo towards 
the building of the chapel ; George Dunn of Newcastle, Esq., and 
his family, ^230; Mrs. Dunn of Stella Hall, ;£ioo; Mr. William 
Dunn of Hedgefield House, Esq., ^50, and Mrs. Dunn, ;£io; 
the Rev. William Hull, j£$o; besides a number of smaller 
subscriptions from Protestant gentlemen in the neighbourhood. 

The chapel, which is dedicated to St. Mary and St. Thomas 
Aquinas, was opened on the 12th day of October, 183 1, by Bishop 
Penswick. The chapel is built of stone, in the Early English and 
Later Gothic styles, consisting of nave, chancel, and a lady chapel. 
The chancel opens to the nave by a handsome decorated pointed 
arch, and is lighted above the altar by three lancets filled with 
stained glass ; and the nave by single lancets, four of which on the 
west side, and two on the east side, are filled with stained glass. 
There is a gallery at the north end. Sittings are provided for 
about four hundred and fifty people. The entrance to the chapel 
is by a Decorated doorway on the west side. The Presbytery, 



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90 

which is at the north end, is fifty feet high, and embattled ; it is 
lighted by a handsome window, mullioned and transomed, and 
forms a pleasant and convenient residence for the chaplain. 

The old burial ground is on the east side of the chapel. A 
cross at the east end bears the date 1836. The present graveyard 
is on the west side, in the centre of which stands a handsome 
carved stone cross. On the south side of the church grounds is 
the school, which accommodates about one hundred and twenty. 

The priests since 1840 have been the Rev. Vincent Joseph 
Eyre; 1845, ^ ev - Thomas Parker.; 1847, Rev. Ralph Piatt; 
1857, Rev. Aisenius Watson ; 1865, Rev. H. Wrenall. 

The Cowens. 

The Cowens came from Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, to Stella. 
At what time they removed to the "Catholic" village on the Tyne, 
is uncertain, but it is supposed it was after the dissolution of the 
Monasteries that they took shelter under the wing of the Tempests 
at Stella Hall, where they were employed about the brewery 
connected with the house. Some time after Sir Ambrose Crowley 
established his ironworks at Winlaton, members of the Cowen family 
became workmen under the famous firm. John Cowen, born in 
1774, and Mary, his wife, born in 1777, may be said to have lived 
for the greater part of their lives at Winlaton. 

Joseph Cowen, afterwards Sir Joseph, was the son of John and 
Mary Cowen, and was born at Greenside, on the 10th of February, 
1800. He served his apprenticeship to the trade of a chain maker, 
at Winlaton, where he continued to work until the period of middle 
life. He married Mary, the daughter of Anthony Newton of 
Winlaton, who was connected with one of the oldest families in 
the neighbourhood. While still a young man, Mr. Cowen took an 
active interest in all movements for the social improvement of his 
fellow workmen. On the formation of the Blacksmith's Friendly 
Society, in 1826, he was chosen secretary, a position which he 
held for many years, discharging its duties gratuitously. On 
January 1st, 1834, he was elected president of the society. The 
library established at Winlaton in 18 19, also received Mr. Cowen's 
warm support. The books kept by Mr. Cowen while secretary of 
the Blacksmith's Friendly Society, are still preserved by the members. 



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Mr. Cowen was one of those stalwart reformers known in the 
North of England as "Crowley's Crew." At the great meeting 
held on the Newcastle Town Moor on October nth, 1819, to 
condemn the Manchester Massacre, " Crowley's Crew " were there 
in strong force. 

As with hop, step, and jump, 

Through the town they did troop, 

led on by the Winlaton Female Reformers. On that occasion 
the contingent from Winlaton was led by Mr. Joseph Cowen and 
Mr. Thomas Hodgson, the latter being one of the speakers at the 
meeting. In 1828, we find Mr. Cowen, along with his brother-in- 
law Mr. Anthony Forster, a manufacturer of fire bricks at Blaydon 
Burn, under the firm of Mr. Joseph Cowen and Company. He 
soon developed the resources of his business, while the superior 
quality of his clay secured for him an increased patronage. Gas 
retorts also became a speciality in the business, and at the Inter- 
national Exhibitions of 185 1 and 1862, he was awarded prizes for 
the superiority of his bricks and other fire-clay goods. Gasworks 
were erected by the firm, who originally intended them for lighting 
their own manufactory alone, but at the request of the inhabitants 
of Blaydon, the firm extended their establishment, and on November 
26th, 1853, the village was lighted with gas. Mr. Cowen was held 
in such high esteem by the people of Blaydon, that they 
presented him with a large portrait of himself, which now adorns 
the Dining Room at Stella Hall. In the year 1853, he was 
elected to the Municipal Council of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and 
was afterwards invested with the civic honour of an alderman. 
In 1836, he was elected a Guardian for Winlaton, and for thirteen 
years he was Chairman of the Gateshead Board of Guardians. 
He was also a Justice of the Peace for the County of Durham. 
On the formation of the River Tyne Improvement Commission, in 
1850, Mr. Cowen was appointed one of its life members, and for a 
period of twenty years, the Chairman of the Commission. The 
Commissioners have made the river the wonder and admiration of 
all beholders rom all quarters of the globe. They have straightened, 
widened, and deepened the river from Tynemouth to Hedwin 
Streams, a distance of nineteen miles, and the unsightly old bridges 
they have replaced by the present handsome structures. For the 
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the interests and developing the resources of Tyneside, he received 
the honour of knighthood, on March 14th, 1872. The following 
is a copy of the official notification of Her Majesty's intention : — 

"10 Downing Street, 

"Whitehall, Nov. 21st, 187 1. 
" Dear Mr. Cowen, — Allow me to tender you, with Her Majesty's 
approval, the honour of knighthood, in acknowledgment of the 
public service you have rendered, for so long a time, and with so 
much ability, as Chairman of the River Tyne Improvement 
Commission. 

" If it be agreeable to you to accept this proposal, it will be very 
gratifying to me to have tendered it. — I remain, with sincere 
respect, faithfully yours, 

"W. E. Gladstone. 
"Jos. Cowen, Esq., M.P." 

In the year 1865, Sir Joseph, then Mr. Cowen, at the request of 
above two thousand of the Burgesses of Newcastle, came forward 
as a candidate for Parliamentary honour and usefulness. At the 
poll, Mr. Cowen stood first, with 2941 votes recorded in his favour; 
Mr. Headlam was second, with 2477; the Whig candidate, Mr. 
S. A. Beaumont, being defeated. Sir Joseph Cowen was by birth 
and education a Radical. During his Parliamentary career he 
seldom addressed the House of Commons, yet he seldom, if 
ever, absented himself from his Parliamentary duties. This close 
atteniion to duty in itself is sometimes more effective for good 
than the most closely studied and eloquently delivered speeches. 
Sir Joseph remained M.P. for Newcastle until his death, which 
took place at Stella Hall, December 19th, 1873. 

Sir Joseph was succeeded by his eldest son, Joseph, who was 
born at Blaydon Burn, July 9th, 1831. He attended a private 
school at Winlaton, first under the Rev. Mr. Kitchen, and after- 
wards under Mr. Lee. Mr. Kitchen was a man of great and 
varied ability, and his school was attended by nearly all the 
gentlemen's sons in the neighbourhood. Mr. Cowen subsequently 
attended Mr. Richard M. Weeks' private school at Ryton Park. 
The school at Winlaton having been given up, the Ryton school 
became the centre of a large district, from which young gentlemen* 



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came to receive their education. Mr. Weeks died at Ryton, on 
February 14th, 1894. After attending Mr. Weeks' school for a 
few years, Mr. Cowen proceeded to the University of Edinburgh, 
which then, by reason of the renown of its professors, enjoyed 
something like European fame. Russlell, Palmerston, Landsdowne, 
had been there before him. His chief extramural instructor was 
the Rev. Dr. John Ritchie, who, although a Scottish preacher, was 
a fearless Radical, and a popular platform speaker. After his 
return to Blaydon Burn, Mr. Cowen engaged actively in his father's 
business of fire-proof brick and retort manufacturer. The time he 
could spare from business was devoted to improving the social 
condition and elevating the moral tone of all classes of workmen 
in the neighbourhood. The Mechanics' Institute of Winlaton and 
Blaydon received no small share of his attention, and for a number 
of years he personally discharged the duties of a teacher at the 
latter institute. But his labours extended far beyond the neigh- 
bourhood of his birth. 

In January, 1854, we find Mr. Cowen, along with Mr. Ingham, 
M.R, Mr. J. C. Grant, and the Rev. James Carr, addressing the 
members of the South Shitlds Working Men's Institute ; and in 
the same month, along with Lord Seaham and Lord Adolphus 
Vane, speaking at the Stockton Mechanics' Institution. During 
this year, Dr. John Ritchie, Mr. Cowen's former instructor at 
Edinburgh, was in the North assisting his former pupil in promoting 
the social welfare of the workmen on Tyneside. In 1854 appeared 
the first number of the " Northern Tribune," with Mr. Cowen as 
editor. The interesting sketches of the villages of Winlaton, 
Stella, and Blaydon, are from the pen of the editor. In the 
account of "Crowley's Crew," which he gives in his sketch of 
Winlaton, Mr. Cowen rescued the history of that remarkable colony 
of workmen from oblivion. Mr. Cowen about that time wrote a 
pamphlet on Education, which provoked a reply from the then Earl 
of Ravensworth. The correspondence ultimately found its way 
into the " Times " newspaper, and produced no small amount of 
excitement at the time. As a friend of temperance, Mr. Cowen 
always found time — forty years ago — to address the working men, 
usually at open-air meetings in the villages on Tyneside, at which 
meetings he was generally associated with George Charlton, George 
Dodds, and W. Peel, names well known in the North of England 



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at that time. Id 1858, Mr. Cowen formed the Northern Reform 
League, and in company with Mr. R. B. Reed, its secretary, he is 
said to have visited every colliery village in Northumberland and 
Durham, teaching the principles of " Christian Democracy." In 
the Reform Demonstration of 1857, the League played an 
important part, bringing out to a a Demonstration " in Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, an army of supporters which London itself could 
scarcely equal. On the formation of the Northumbrian Education 
League, Mr. Cowen was appointed chairman, and secured for 
Board Schools the votes of the Northern Counties. 

By this time Mr. Cowen possessed a European reputation. In 
1854, on Garibaldi visiting Tyneside, he formed one of a deputation 
who waited on the General at Shields, to present to him a sword 
and telescope, purchased by a penny subscription. Mr. Cowen, 
in presenting the sword and telescope, made one of those appropriate 
speeches for the delivery of which he has become so famous. 
Garibaldi afterwards visited Tyneside, and was the guest of Mr. 
Cowen. In 1856, the illustrious exile, Louis Kossuth, visited 
Newcastle, and delivered a number of lectures and speeches. Mr. 
Cowen was closely associated with Kossuth during his stay on 
Tyneside. At the first lecture, held in the Music Hall, Mr. Cowen 
was on the platform ; at the second lecture he was chairman ; and 
•during Kossuth's stay at Blaydon, he delivered an address in the 
Mechanics' Institute, when Mr. Cowen again took the chair. The 
great Hungarian paid other visits to Tyneside, and on each occasion 
he was the guest of Mr. Cowen. Louis Blanc also, was often 
^nder Mr. Cowen's roof. Mr. Cowen was an intimate friend of 
Mazzini, whom he declares to be the greatest man he has known. 
Mr. Cowen was also a close friend of Orsini, and of Ledru 
Rollin ; and of the Polish revolutionary leaders, Worcell, Darasz, 
Mieroslawski, Dombrowski, and Langiewiez. For years his house 
had been an asylum for the victims of Russian tyranny, and a 
considerable part of an ample income had been spent by him in 
keeping alive the patriotism of the Polish insurgents and other 
enemies of Russia. On the 22nd September, 1862, Mr. Cowen 
was elected a member of the Newcastle Town Council, and on the 
9th of November, 1877, he was invested with the honour of an 
alderman. On the nth August, 1886, he resigned, after having 
^sat in the Council for twenty-four years. In 1859, Mr. Cowen 



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became proprietor of the " Newcastle Daily Chronicle," and in a 
short time largely increased its circulation. During the agitation 
in the North of England, in 1873, known as the "Nine Hours' 
Movement," Mr. Cowen, both by his purse and his paper, rendered 
invaluable service to the workmen, which resulted in the concession 
of the u Nine Hours' " day to workmen in all parts of the country. 

On January 14th, 1874, Mr. Cowen was elected to fill the 
Parliamentary seat vacant by the death of his father At the poll 
the numbers were: — Cowen, 7,356; Hammond, 6,353. Mr. Glad- 
stone, however, dissolved Parliament before Mr. Cowen had taken 
his seat, and in the following month another election took place, 
when he was again returned. He entered Parliament with a 
brilliant reputation. A Radical by birth, education, and tradition, 
he had been for years the champion of the weak against the 
strong ; in social, educational, and philanthrophic matters, and in 
the extension and broadening of christian effort, he had become 
an acknowledged authority. He was in 1874, what Charles 
Attwood of Whickham had been in 1831 — the political guide and 
adviser of the working classes on Tyneside. His platform training, 
which was of the most complete description, had been received in 
the open fields and on village greens, while addressing multitudes 
of his fellow men. With these considerations in view, it is not 
surprising that great things were expected of Mr. Cowen in Parlia- 
ment ; and his parliamentary achievements in no way belied the 
high hopes that his friends reposed in his great abilities and 
immense experience. His speeches on the Friendly Societies' Bill, 
on the County Suffrage Bill, on Mr. Plimsoll's Bill, on the County 
Courts Bill, and the Licensing Boards Bill, which were made early 
in his parliamentary career, gave proof of a varied capacity for 
legislative work of a very high order; but it was his speech 
delivered in opposition to the bill introduced by Mr. Disraeli, then 
prime minister, conferring the title of Empress of India on the 
Queen of England, which stamped him an orator ranking with 
Gladstone and Bright. 

Mr. Cowen was returned for Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1880, and 
in 1885. At the end of the last mentioned Parliament, which 
lasted till 1886, he retired from political life. Since that time 
Mr. Cowen has only appeared on two occasions before Newcastle 
audiences, namely, on October 5th, 1892, when he laid the founda- 



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tion stone of the Rutherford College; and on September 12th, 
1894, when he delivered an address at the unveiling ceremony of 
the Memorial Fountain to the late Dr. Rutherford. 

The following speeches delivered by Mr. Cowen deserve careful 
reading and attentive study : — 

" America and England ; " speech at a banquet given by the 
Corporation of Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Ex-President Grant, Sept 
22nd, 1877. *'The Spirit of our Time;" address delivered at the 
opening of the Winter Session of the College of Physical Science, 
October 1st, 1877. "Art in Trade;" delivered at the presentation 
by Mrs. Lough of the models executed by her husband, the late 
Mr. Lough, to the town of Newcastle, October 24th, 1877. "Art 
and Education ;" delivered on the occasion of laying the foundation 
stone of the Science and Art School, Newcastle, November 21st, 
1877. "Eulogy on a Local Orator;" delivered on the occasion 
of unveiling a memorial to the late Mr. Charles Larkin at 
Newcasile-upon-Tyne, September 30th, 1880. "Art: its History 
and Future ; " delivered at the annual distribution of prizes in 
connection with the Bath Lane Science and Art School, October 
1 2th, 1880. "Mechanics' Institutions and Oratory;" delivered 
to the members of the Working Men's Club, September 18th, 1882. 
" Modern Preaching and Preachers ; " delivered at a public break- 
fast given in honour of the jubilee of the Rev. George Bell, May 
26th, 1884. "Religious Liberty and Tolerance ;" delivered when 
presiding at a lecture by the Rev. Mr. Macrae, in the Congregational 
Church, Gateshead, October 13th, 1884. "Education;" delivered 
on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone of the 
Rutherford College, October 5th, 1892. "Dr. Rutherford ; " 
delivered at the unveiling ceremony of the Memorial Fountain to 
the late Dr. Rutherford, at Newcastle-on-Tyne, September 12th, 
1894. 

Although Mr. Cowen has retired from active public life, he still 
takes a keen interest in political and social questions. Privately 
he is sociable and pleasant, and when conversing on topics in which 
he is interested, talks with all the animation and eloquence of 
former days. 

Miss Jane Cowen, Mr. Cowen's only daughter, is the authoress of 
"Tales of Revolution and of Patriotism," published in 1884. She 



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has' also contributed to the "Weekly Chronicle," "Colburn's 
Monthly," and other magazines. 

One hundred years ago, there stood at the west end of Stella, on 
the south side of the present Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, a 
forge belonging to Peter Hutchinson of Ryton, which afterwards 
passed to his son, James Hutchinson. The forge was driven by a 
water-wheel, and stood in a secluded spot, excellently adapted for 
the purpose. This establishment was afterwards enlarged by the 
addition of an iron foundry, which, in 1828, belonged to Mr. 
Edward Emerson. It- subsequently passed into the hands of 
Messrs. R. J. and R. Laycock, who manufactured waggons for 
railways, and under whose direction the little factory flourished for 
many years. At present, not a vestige remains to apprise the 
visitor to Stella of this industry. 

On the south side of the Hexham turnpike, there is a lane 
which winds past a number of pretty cottages, and which at one 
time terminated at the old turnpike at the top of the hill. This 
lane was formerly "The Lover's Walk," but unfortunately for 
the young men and maidens of the neighbourhood, the road was 
closed a number of years since, and has not been re-opened. At 
the east side of the road, which leads on to Stella Haughs, is 
"High Stella House." This old house, which has a pleasant 
outlook on the north side, has evidently seen better days. On a 
plan of Stella (1767), it is marked the residence of Thos. Foster. 
In 1828, it was the residence of Mr. Thomas Emerson, ironfounder. 
At present it is occupied by Mr. William Douglas. 

About the middle of the village is the old Stella brewery. The 
brewery is not marked on the above mentioned plan of Stella, and 
was probably erected at the date inscribed on the weather-cock, 
"I. H. & Com. 1778." I. H. are the initials of James Hutchinson, 
the owner of the forge. The brewery subsequently passed into the 
hands of Mr. J. C. Thompson. In 1854 it belonged to Messrs. 
Parker & Co., and was last used for manufacturing purposes by 
Mr. John P. Dalton. 

Considering the number of keelmen that lived at Stella and 
Blaydon, it is not surprising that some of them should be first-class 
oarsmen. William Galley of Stella, in the early years of the present 
century, was champion oarsman of the Tyne. At the celebration 
of the coronation of His Majesty George IV., July 19th, 1821, a 

8 



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great boat race took place from Walker Quay to the Tyne Bridge. 
Thirteen boats started, including the "Laurel Leaf" (William 
Galley), Stella. The "Laurel Leaf" arrived seventh in order, but 
a dispute having arisen, the race was deferred till August ist (the 
anniversary of the Battle of the Nile), when the competitors pulled 
from Hebburn Quay to the Tyne Bridge, in the following order : 
ist, "Laurel Leaf " (William Galley), 6 sovs.; 2nd, "The Swallow'' 
3 sovs. ; 3rd, " Lord Ravensworth, ,, 2 sovs. ; six boats competed. 
William Galley belonged to one of the old Stella families, William 
Silvertop having married a Galley of Stella in the 18th century. 
There were also a four-oared and a six-oared crew, formed by the 
keelmen of Stella and Blaydon. The village has remained stationary 
for many years; the only industries at present are the staiths, and 
the brick manufactory belonging to Messrs. Joseph Cowen & Co. 



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BLAYDON. 

This village, in the township of Winlaton, lies immediately on the 
south side of the Tyne, and east of Blaydon Burn, The name is 
probably derived from Mac = bleak, and dun = a hill. The population 
in 1891 was : males, 2570; females, 2291 ; total, 4861. 

Blaydon has no historical record of any importance. It belongs 
exclusively to the modern days of material development. Few 
villages on Tyneside have risen so rapidly in commercial importance 
during the last fifty years ; and with a growing population, and a 
yearly increasing trade, it will undoubtedly play an important part 
in the great volume of Tyneside industry. In a plan of Blaydon 
dated 1775, the village was composed of a number of houses 
bordering the Hexham turnpike, on the east side of the Blaydon 
Burn. The present road from Winlaton to Blaydon was Sir Edward 
Blackett's "lead-way," by which the lead was carried from the 
mines at Allenheads to the smelt mill at Blaydon. At the east 
end of the village, where the bridge crosses the railway near to 
Blaydon Haughs, there was a windmill. On the site of the present 
railway station was the smelt mill belonging to Sir Edward 
Blackett. Between the smelt mill and the west end of Tyne- 
street was the village Green, extending southward to the present 
turnpike. Alongside of the Green, at the river side, was Lord 
Strathmore's quay. On the south side of the turnpike was the 
Dockendale estate, the property of George Silvertop, Esq.; and 
on the north side of Dockendale stands the house at present 
occupied by Mr. Michael Hawdon, which, prior to 1775, was tn ^ 
residence of the Silvertop family before their removal to Stella 
House. Mr. Hawdon's house is still designated the Manor 
House. On the west side of Mr. Silvertop's mansion were the 
Horse-crofts, and on the north side of the turnpike, and opposite 
Mr. Silvertop's house, was a number of small houses, probably the 
residence of keelmen. Such is the picture of Blaydon one hundred 



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and twenty years ago. The old houses on the east side of the 
Horse-crofts, which form Fountain-lane, are among the oldest in 
Blaydon. The word "croft" is Saxon, and signifies a little close or 
piece of ground adjoining a house for pasture, probably used for 
the horses working at that time on the lead-gate. 

By following a road commencing at Fountain-lane, for about half 
a mile southward, the site of Dockendale Hall may be seen in a field 
on the east side of Blaydon Burn. As already stated, Dockendale 
formed part of the estate of G. Silvertop, Esq. The Hall was 
probably only a large farm house, as many of such houses are still 
called halls. In the year 1810, the house was made into tenements 
and occupied by Mr. Dunn's keelmen. Sixty years ago, only a 
few out-houses were standing, and to-day only the foundations 
indicate its former existence. It may interest the people of 
Winlaton and Blaydon to know that the following curious history, 
taken from " Richardson's Table Book," is connected with Docken- 
dale. At a sale in the beginning of 1760, a woman bought a very, 
old bureau for 4s. 6d., being considered nothing better than lumber. 
After the sale, she with difficulty prevailed on a nailer, a neighbour, 
to assist her in removing it ; he, in forcing it open by the middle, 
discovered some papers and loose gold, told her about it, and made 
it fast again ; got more help, and took it away whole. In getting it 
out, one of the papers fell, and the gold jingling was taken notice 
of by one of the assistants, but the nailer saying it was only a bag 
with a few nails he had put out of his pocket, he was believed. 
After getting it home and dismissing the assistants, the purchaser 
and her friend, the nailer, went to work and took it to pieces, and 
were paid for their trouble with several purses and papers of gold 
to a considerable amount. She gave the nailer five papers untold, 
which enabled him to pay his debts and purchase a house and 
shop to work in, which amounted to upwards of ^200 ; and was 
told by the woman to apply to her if he wanted more ; but he was 
satisfied, and looked upon it as a particular case of Providence, 
being deep in debt and out of work, with a sick wife and a small 
family. It was remarkable that this old piece of furniture was 
recollected to have passed through several sales during the 
preceding forty years ; that none of the gold was of a later coinage 
than James II.; and that it was in the possession of an opulent 
family in the neighbourhood of Newcastle in the year 17 15. This 



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piece of furniture was bought by a woman living at Dockendale 
Hall (1760), the sale being at the "Blacksmiths' Arms/' Winlaton. 

Hutchinson says : — *' The wharfs at Stella and Blaydon receive 
the greatest part of the lead which comes down the Tyne. The 
proprietors are the London Company, the heirs of Sir Thomas 
Blackett, Bart., and Henry Errington, Esq., and Company. The 
smelt mills are chiefly on the Derwent river, at Whitefield, Jeffreys, 
and Acton, belonging to the London Company; Dukesfield, 
Allenheads, and Rookhope, belonging to the heirs of Sir Thomas 
Blackett; and Feldon, near Edmundbyers, belonging to Mr. 
Errington. Sir Thomas's heirs have a refinery at Blaydon. The 
yearly receipt of lead at the above wharfs is 60,000 pieces of 
twelve stone each. There are ninety-three carriages constantly 
employed to bring down the lead, each carrying ten pieces at a 
time. The average number of pieces of lead sent to Blaydon 
from the western mines, in the county of Durham, is about 
.100,000." 

Before the introduction of carriages or wains, the lead was 
conveyed from the mines by small Scotch galloways. A wood 
frame was fixed over the backs of the galloways, containing a piece 
of lead on each side. The leading pony had a bell attached to 
his head, in order to guide those behind. It would be an inter- 
esting sight to see forty or fifty galloways coming across the 
fells and moors all under the direction of two men — from Allen- 
heads in Cumberland, to Blaydon. It was after the roads were 
improved that wains were used, 

The London Lead Company's wharf was at Stella, and the road 
by which the lead was conveyed to the wharf was called Lead 
Gate. The route from the mines was over Hedley Fell to Lead 
Gate, where the ponies were changed ; they then proceeded by 
the road past Coalburns, Greenside, and Path-head to Stella. 
The lead belonging to the heirs of Sir Thomas Blackett, was 
refined at Blaydon, and afterwards shipped to its destination. 
Every ton of lead-ore produced nine or ten ounces of silver, and 
from this fact, the road from Blaydon church to Winlaton was 
called " Silver Hill." The lead mines in Allendale afterwards 
became the property of Colonel and Mrs. Beaumont, who also 
came into possession of the refinery at Blaydon. It was while 
Hugh L. Pattinson, Esq., was manager of the establishment, that 



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he made many of those discoveries which raised "him to a high 
place in his profession. Since the construction of the Newcastle 
and Carlisle Railway, in 1835, both the staiths and the smelt mills 
have disappeared. 

In the year 1828, Blaydon was still one of the smallest villages 
on Tyneside, although a few manufactories had commenced, 
William G. Hawdon had an iron foundry ; Emerson and Milner, 
iron and steel foundries, and a fire-brick manufactory ; and the 
Beaumonts, the lead-yard. Blaydon House had been built, and 
was occupied by Mr. John Mulcaster, agent to Thomas Richard 
Beaumont, Esq. The village possessed eight public-houses. The 
dwellings of the keelmen, who comprised the most numerous class 
of workmen in Blaydon and Stella, occupied nearly the whole of 
the houses in the village. In the year 1850, the village possessed 
a thriving and important trade, and manufactories lined the side 
of the river. Industries of nearly every description were com- 
menced. The following works were in active operation : — North 
Durham Bottle Works ; W. C. Carr, clay-retort manufacturer ; W. 
Harriman, fire-brick manufacturer; A. Thatcher, glass manu- 
facturer ; R. Hall & Co., chain manufacturers ; Blaydon Chemical 
Company ; W. G. Hawdon, engine builder and founder ; R. Lynn, 
lamp-black manufacturer ; and B. Stokoe, fell-monger. 

It was not until the opening of the Blaydon Main Colliery, in 
1853, that the village assumed its present shape. At that time 
Cuthbert-street and Robinson-street were built for the workmen at 
the colliery ; and since that time Blaydon has greatly enlarged in 
size and in population. 

Upon the 5th November, 1865, Mr. John Nicholson, timber 
merchant, died. He built three or four small vessels; but this 
industry has not been pursued. 

The opening of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, in 1835, 
gave a great impetus to the trade of Blaydon, but it also sounded 
the death-knell to the vocation of the keelman. On the 9th 
March of that year two trains, drawn by the "Rapid" and the 
"' Comet," started from Blaydon for Hexham amidst tremendous 
cheering and the booming of cannon. The trains brought back 
the passengers to Blaydon in an hour and a quarter — quite a 
marvellous feat in those days. On March 1st, 1837, the line between 
Redheugh and Blaydon was opened ; on May 31st, 1839, the line 



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from Newcastle to Blaydon for minerals, and on October 21st, 
Newcastle to Blaydon for passengers. 

The keelmen were not the only class of men whose trade 
suffered by the introduction of the railroad system : the " British 
Queen" coach, which started from Hexham, and called at "The 
Beehive," Blaydon, at half-past ten in the morning and at half-past 
four in the afternoon, to take up passengers, was compelled by the 
cheapness of railway travelling to retire from the road, and the 
jolly coachman of sixty years ago has disappeared for ever. 

On November 26th, 1853, Blaydon was first lighted with gas, 
the supply being obtained from the works of Messrs. Joseph 
Co wen & Co., who originally intended them for lighting their own 
manufactory alone; but who, at the request of the inhabitants, 
extended their establishment, so as to light not only Blaydon, but 
the other villages in the neighbourhood as well The gas was 
made from cannel coal, and gave every satisfaction, both as regards 
its purity and brilliancy. On December 6th a large and influential 
meeting of the inhabitants was held in the lecture hall of the 
Mechanics' Institution, with Dr. Brown in the chair, at which 
resolutions were passed thanking Messrs. Cowen for having offered 
their gas to the public, and for agreeing to light the streets ; the 
meeting pledging themselves to raise the requisite funds to pay 
for the same. 

The Church. 

The Church, dedicated to St. Cuthbert, occupies a commanding 
position at the head of the street to which it gives name, and faces 
the Hexham turnpike. The site was given by T. W. Beaumont, 
Esq. It is a stone structure in the Early English style, comprising 
nave, chancel, north aisle, and handsome pinnacled tower. The 
aisle is under a separate roof, and divided from the nave by four 
pointed arches springing from round pillars. The nave and south 
porch were erected in 1844, at a cost of about ^800, and the 
aisle, chancel, and tower were afterwards added. 

In 1876 a peal of six bells and a clock of three dials were placed 
in the tower by subscription, at a cost of about £600 ; the tenor 
being given by the late Sir Henry A. Clavering, Bart., and the 
clock by John B. Simpson, Esq. In 1882 the church was partially 



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restored, when the south porch was removed, the nave re-pewed, 
the organ removed from the gallery into a chamber in the chancel, 
and the chancel and choir screens were erected. The cost of the 
restoration was about ^£500. The present number of sittings is 
six hundred and fifty, all of which are free. 

The east window is in four compartments, and filled with stained 
glass. In each of the lights there is represented a scene in the 
life of our Saviour. 

Against the north wall of the chancel there is a tablet with the 
inscription : — 

In loving memory of 

The Rev. William Brown, m.a., 

Rector and first Incumbent of 

this parish for 32 years, 

who died November 15th, 1877, aged 59 years. 

Thanks be to God, which giveth us the 

victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye 

steadfast, unmoveable, always 

abounding in the work of the Lord, 

forasmuch as ye know that your 

labour is not in vain. 1. Cor. xv. 57-58. 

In the nave, at the east end, there is a window of two lights, 
filled with stained glass, representing — first, Job ; second, St. Paul. 
On a brass plate underneath the window is the inscription : — 

The above window, erected by his widow and 

children in affectionate remembrance of 

Charles Armstrong, Esq., of Newcastle-on-Tyne, 

who died Oct. 22nd, 1868, aged 69 years. Also James Armstrong, 

son of the above, who died January 19th, 1858, aged 19. 

Also Ann Elizabeth Armstrong, daughter of the above, 

who died January 27th, 1864, aged 26. 

A window at the east end of the north aisle bears the following: — 

In affectionate Memory of Henry Poole, 

first warden of this Church. By A. A. and J.B. A., of 

London, 186 — . 



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In the west wall of the north aisle another window has the 
inscription : — 

Erected in Memory of James Mitford, who died 

Nov. 14th, 1865, aged 74 years ; and left ^100 towards 

the completion of this church, by his executors, 

P. Brown, M.D., and J. Parker. 

The handsome cover on the altar-table was the gift of Mrs. 
Greene, wife of the rector. The brass reading desk, chastely 
designed, and surmounted by an eagle, took the first prize at the 
Newcastle Exhibition. 

The living is valued at ^300, and the patronage is vested in 
the Crown and the Bishop of Durham. The tithes were commuted 
in 1855 f° r £> 2 1- The Rev. Matthew Greene is rector. 

The rector's house stands at the east side of the church. There 
is a small graveyard at the north side of the church. 

Prior to the erection of the church, religious services were 
conducted in a chapel of ease at the west end of Blaydon, near 
to the Burn Side ; the building is now used as a joiner's shop, 
and has the following inscription above the door : — " Cura Caroli 
Thorp, a.d. 1832." 

The Wesleyan Methodists have a handsome chapel, which is 
situated on the north side of the Shibdon-road, at the east end of 
the village. The Methodists had a preaching house at an early 
period of their history. The house in which services were first 
conducted belonged to William Hawdon. Mr. Michael Hawdon 
has in his possession a mantel bearing the inscription, " w. H - m. 
(William and Mary Hawdon), 1737 ;" this stone belonged to the 
house in which the early Methodists worshipped, and which stood 
on the site of a house now in Bridge Street (No. 11). The house 
comprised a kitchen and a room above. The upper room was 
entered from the kitchen by a trap-door. Mr. Hawdon also possesses 
a stool on which the preacher stood to address the congregation. 
The stool was placed immediately under the trap door. It some- 
times happened that the congregation was too large for the kitchen, 
on which the upper room was also used ; the preacher by standing on 
the stool, and raising his head above the door, could then see the 
congregations in both rooms. The Methodists afterwards removed 
to a more commodious room in the "Horse-crofts," in which they 



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worshipped until 1856, when they took possession of their new 
chapel in Wesley-place. After conducting services there for nearly 
forty years, they built their present chapel, which was opened in 
1893. It is built in the Early English style, and serves at present 
as a school-chapel. The seating at present provided is for four 
hundred ; and the cost was ^2,600. 

The Blaydon and District Co-operative Literary 
Institute. 

Since 1847 there has been a Mechanics' Institution in the 
village. In the year 1852, a large and handsome building was 
erected by subscription. The foundation stone was laid in May 
of that year, by Mr. Blackett, M.P., and it was opened in Sep- 
tember. The cost of the erection was £600. In the early days 
of the Institution, the late Mr. Thomas Vallance, keelman, was 
president, and Mr. James Eadie, secretary. In 1875 lt became 
the property of the Blaydon and District Co-operative Society, at 
a cost of about ^1300, and the Institute became free to all mem- 
bers of the society, at present numbering 41 14. It is a commodious 
structure, comprising library, reading-room, and lecture-hall. The 
news-room is well supplied with the various metropolitan and 
provincial journals and magazines, and the library contains upwards 
of 2200 volumes. There are also science and art classes, which 
are fairly well attended during the winter months. 

Blaydon District Co-operative Society. 

The Blaydon Society is one of the oldest in the Co-operative 
Union. Mr. Holyoake, in his " History of Co-operation," declares 
that, next to Rochdale, it is the most remarkable store in England. 
It has grown from a house to a street. Perhaps no man had more 
to do with the formation of the store than Mr. Joseph Cowen. A 
number of shrewd and intelligent men met weekly in the Mechanics' 
Institute of the village, when Mr. Cowen read portions of Mr. 
Holyoake's " History of the Rochdale Pioneers," and impressed 
them with the wisdom of the Co-operative movement, and the 
utility of the "store." The Blaydon Society was commenced in 
the year 1858, in a cottage situated in Cuthbert-street. Thirty- 



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eight members were enrolled at the first public meeting. In a 
short time the rooms in Cuthbert-street were too small for the 
amount of business to be transacted by the members, and the 
present large and handsome premises in Church-street were com- 
menced. Additions have several times been made to the original 
building. At present the Society's business is carried on in 
grocery, butchering, tailoring, drapery, shoemaking, green-grocery, 
and hardware departments. In 1894, there were one hundred 
and thirty-five employees in the service of the society. 

The following figures will show the doings of the Society since 
its commencement: — Sates, £3,338,027; capital subscribed by 
members, ,£120,646; capital withdrawn, ,£469,996; members* 
dividends, ,£382,845 ; interest on members' capital, ,£57,994 ; 
depreciation of property, fixed and rolling stock, ,£27,497 ; capital 
invested in other societies, £" 10,445 > investments withdrawn, 
£"14,748; present amount of investments, £"19,486; present 
members' claims, ,£80,054 ; present nominal value of fixed and 
rolling stock, £"24,430; present number of members, 4,000; 
sales for the year 1893, £"130,450. The Blaydon Society has also 
branch stores at Prudhoe, Lemington, Spen, Winlaton, West wood, 
and Barmoor. The Burnopfield and Throckley stores were 
formerly branches of Blaydon, but are now independent societies. 

The Blaydon society has built at Blaydon sixty-seven houses ; 
at Lemington, twenty-seven; at Prudhoe, twenty; at Spen, sixteen; 
and at Barmoor, eighteen — which are occupied by members of the 
stores. 

In 1875 tne Blaydon Society commenced to apportion i\ per 
cent, of the profits per annum towards education : and up to the 
present time ^£8,000 has been devoted to that purpose. 

The Catholic School (St. Joseph's) stands on the south side of 
the Hexham turnpike, and opposite to the church (St. Cuthbert's). 
It was opened in 1870, to accommodate 230 children. 

A little west of St. Cuthbert's Church is the Primitive Methodist 
Chapel. It is a good stone building, and was erected in 1854, 
with sittings for 300 persons. The Primitive Methodists have a 
smaller chapel at Blaydon Haughs, erected in 1881, to seat 
about 200. 

The United Free Methodists have a small chapel in Tyne-street, t 
built in 1859, at a cost of ,£300, having seats for 150. 



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There are on the river side the following industries, which give 
employment to several hundreds of workmen: — Blaydon Iron 
Works; Blaydon Manure and Alkali Company; Blaydon Bottle 
Works; Messrs. Douglass Brothers, Engineers; Messrs. Smith, 
Patterson & Co., Ironfounders and Sanitary Engineers ; Messrs. 
William Harriman & Co., Brick Manufacturers; Messrs. Hoyle, 
Robson, Barnett & Co., Paint, Colour, and Varnish Manufac- 
turers ; Cinder Ovens (Stella Coal Company). 

At a short distance from the Wesleyan Chapel, at the east end 
of Blaydon, is the Cemetery (St. Cuthbert's, Stella), which occupies 
an elevated position on the south side of the Hexham turnpike. 
It was opened in March 1873, the first interment taking place on 
the 17 th of that month. It covers an area of three and a quarter 
acres, and contains two mortuary chapels, in the Early English 
style, which are divided by an archway in the usual manner, as 
also a house for the curator. The total cost was ^2,600. 

In the Cemetery, on a handsome granite vault cover, which 
marks the resting place of the last of the long line of Claverings, 
there is the following inscription : — 

Sir Henry Augustus Clavering, 

Of Axwell Park, Tenth and last Baronet, 

Born 30th August, 1824, 

Died 9th November, 1893; 

Aged 69 Years. 

There is also in the Cemetery a neat monument erected to the 
memory of James Ramsay. The base of the structure supports 
the figure of that well-known and highly-respected man, holding in 
his hand a "rattle," used in calling the pitmen to their work. On 
the base of the monument is inscribed : — 

Sacred 

To the Memory of 

James Ramsay, 

Aged 61 Years. 

Erected by the Miners of Durham, 

As a Tribute to his long and Self-sacrificing 

Labours in the Cause of Human Progress. 

« He was a Zealous Worker, a Faithful Friend, 

a Christian Patriot 



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A little further eastward, and at the foot of Winlaton Bank, is 
the Board School, built in 1889 for the accommodation of the 
children living at Blaydon. It is a magnificent structure, occu- 
pying a commanding position on the south side of the turnpike. 
It was built from a design by Thomas C. Nicholson, Esq., of 
Blaydon, and comprises departments for boys, girls, and infants, 
with a total accommodation for over 700 children. The cost of 
the building was ^8,700. 

On the north side of the Hexham turnpike is situated the 
Blaydon Main Colliery, worked by the Stella Coal Company. 
This colliery was opened in 1 85 3, and at present the Brockwell 
seam, 2 feet 10 inches at a distance of 46 fathoms, is being 
worked. There are about four hundred men and boys employed, 
including the coke-ovens at Derwenthaugh. The miners live at 
Winlaton and Blaydon. 

Returned to Blaydon, a road opposite to the church, known as 
Blaydon Bank, leads to Winlaton. At the bottom of the road, 
and on the west side, is Blaydon House — already mentioned — the 
residence of Dr. Brown ; whose father Dr. Blown, is well-known 
and highly respected in the neighbourhood. For many years he 
has been identified with all movements for the elevation of the 
working classes. 

It was nearly at the top of Blaydon Bank, on October 5th, 
i860, that John Baty was murdered by Thomas Smith, who was 
afterwards hanged at Durham. 

The Blaydon Local Board was first formed in 1 861, at which 
time it comprised Blaydon village only. The district was twice 
extended : in 1875 Winlaton and Stella townships were taken in, 
and in 1877 Chopwell township was added — which altogether 
embraced an area of 9,348 acres. 

In December 1894, the Blaydon Urban District Council was 
formed. The district is divided into two wards, Blaydon with 
twelve, and Chopwell with three members. 

A Burial Board, numbering six members, was formed in 1873. 



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WINLATON. 

The parish of Winlaton was constituted November 6th, 1832, 
and includes the whole of the townships of Winlaton and 
Chop well previously forming the eastern, southern, and western 
boundaries of the parish of Ryton. It is bounded on the north 
by the Tyne, from Blaydon Burn foot to the confluence of the 
Tyne and Derwent, a distance of about a mile. The boundary 
on the east is still the Derwent, extending for about two miles 
between Axwell Park and Swalwell, to Gibside Hall, where it 
takes a westerly direction past Rowlands Gill, the western part of 
the Crown Lands in Chopwell, and Milkwell Burn, and divides 
Winlaton from Northumberland. The line proceeds in a northerly 
direction past Hedley Fell — dividing that place from the townships 
of Ryton and Chopwell — to Bucks Nook. On the south this is 
the boundary line which separates the parish of Winlaton from 
that t of Ryton. On the formation of the Chapelry of Stella, 
August 8th, 1845, tne northern portion of the township of 
Winlaton was added to it (Stella). 

The village of Winlaton, which is about two miles south-east of 
Ryton, stands on a high exposed ridge, sloping on the south and 
the east to the Derwent, and on the north to the Hexham turnpike. 
The houses are generally irregularly built, and apparently without 
any plan. 

Winloctun, Winlaghton, Winlauton, Winlawton, Wynlaton, 
Winlaton is probably derived from Win or Whin — formerly many 
parts of the township were covered with whins, and bore the name 
of Whiney Close, Whiney Common, &c; law, from the Anglo- 
Saxon word hleaw = rising ground ; and ton = town or village. 

Population of the township, 1801, 3021; 1811, 3063; 1821, 
3532: 1831,3951; 1841,5006; 1851,5627; 1861,6809; l8 7 J i 
7494; 1881, 8330; 1891, 10,390. Rateable Value in 1821, 
,£5,576 ; in 1894, £34,7i3- Area, 5,217 acres- 



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« 

There are strong grounds for supposing that a branch of the 
Roman highway (Watling-Street) passed through the vicinity of 
Winlaton. At a small distance from Binchester, a military way 
has been observed to leave the Watling-Street, supposed to go to 
Chester-le-Street. Again, the remains of such a way have been 
found on Gateshead Fell, pointing to Newcastle. Having passed 
the Derwent at Ebchester, this old road proceeds towards 
Corbridge. About half a mile north of Whittonstall there is a 
remarkable turn in it, and at this turn an exploratory fort of about 
thirty yards square. There was most likely an easterly continu- 
ation of the (Maiden) way through Hedley, Coalburns, Winlaton, 
etc., connecting it with the Reken Dyke, which ran to Jarrow and 
South Shields. Several querns have been found in the neighbour- 
hood. In taking down some old houses at Swalwell, a few years 
since, four querns were discovered in the foundations; and in 
1889, a quern was found in the old foundation of the National 
School at Whickham. 

In Boldon Book, 1183, Wynlaton and Berley are on lease with 
the demesne and the villein service, and with the farm stock, 
under ^15 rent. Besides, the tenants in villenage mow the lord's 
meadows (each two days' work with one man), and then receive 
their corrody — whence our northern word "crowdy;" and win 
and lead the hay, one day's work. The marsh, the meadow, and 
the wood (nemus) are reserved to the lord. The mill pays five 
marks and a half. 

Coals were obtained at Winlaton at an early period of the 
history of this industry. From the Pipe Rolls, 40 Ed. Ill-, 1367, 
we have the particulars of the account of Henry de Strother, 
sheriff of Northumberland, of monies by him paid for the provision 
and purchase of sea-coals, for the use of " our lord ye king," the 
same being purchased by virtue of the letters of our lord the king 
under his privy seal, addressed to the said sheriff under date 19th 
day of February, in the 40th year of our said lord, the King of 
of England. " Purchase of Coals — The same accounteth for 676 
chaldrons of coals, counting by the long hundred of sea coals, 
purchased at Wynlaton at 17 pence per chaldron, ^47 17s. 8d.; 
and for 33 keels and one boat, with men labouring in the same, 
namely in each keel five men, and in the boat four men, each of 
the said keels containing 20 chaldrons, and the aforesaid boat 



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containing 1 6 chaldrons; conveying and carrying the said coals 
from Wynlaton to the port of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and there 
putting the same on board ship ; each of the said men having for 
his wages 6 pence, and for the hire of each keel and boat 1 2 pence, 
1 1 8s. 6d.; and for the wages of one John Tavener, superintending 
the loading and conveyance of the said coals, and the procuring 
and freighting of divers ships for taking the said coals on board, 
and bringing the same to London, namely, from the 14th day of 
April, in the 40th year (of our lord the king) to the 6th day of 
June next following, being 54 days, reckoning each day, he 
receiving 1 2d. per day by agreement, 54 shillings; and to one 
Hugh Hankyn, for his labour and expenses in travelling to London 
and there abiding to receive the said coals from the masters of 
the ships, and delivering the said coals by indenture to Adam de 
Hertyngdone, clerk of our lord the King, and thence returning to 
his own home, viz: 74 days, he receiving 18 pence per day by 
agreement. 

" And to the divers masters of the ships for the freight of 5 89 J 
chaldrons of coals from the aforesaid port to London, and there 
delivered as appears by the indentures of delivery of the said 
coals, indentured between the said Henry Strother and the 
aforesaid masters testifying of the said delivery, namely for every 
chaldron 3s. 6d. — ^103 4s. Total sum, ^165 5s. 2d." — T.J. 
Taylor, "Archaeology of the Coal Trade." 

From this account we can ascertain the price of coals at 
Winlaton in the 14th century. It is rather uncertain what the 
chaldron was rated at in 1367. In the year 1530, the Priory of 
Tynemouth let a colliery called Heygrove, at Elswick ; another in * 
the East-field there ; besides one in the West-field, and one near 
Gallow-flat, for ^20 a year, on condition that more than twenty 
chaldrons, of six bolls each, should not be drawn in a day. Six 
bolls were equal to about 1600 lbs., or 14^ cwts. "i7d." was paid 
for a chaldron equal to about 14^ cwts.; so that the price paid at 
the Winlaton pits for the king's coals was a fraction more than 
one penny per cwt. The carrying capacity of the keels was twenty 
chaldrons, and the sum paid to the keelmen for carrying the coals, 
probably from Stella to Newcastle, was sixpence per man. Since 
that time (14th century), every available part of Winlaton and its 
vicinity has been worked for coal. One part of the village — The 

9 



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Groves — has taken its name from the coal-mining carried on at 
the north side. 

In 1368, Ralph Nevill, Chivaler, died seized of the manor, 
held by twenty marks exchequer rent. "Hatfield's Survey," 1345 — 
1 38 j, states only that Lord Nevill held the village of Winlaton by 
knight's service and ^20 rent ; and in Lord Nevill's family the 
manor continued till the reign of Elizabeth, when just before the 
forfeiture, Charles, Earl of Westmorland, 19th July, 1569, conveyed 
his manor of East and West Winlaton — which included Blaydon, 
Bates Houses, Thornley, Spen, Smailes, Sherburn, Lintz-ford, and 
Berley, and free fishery in the Tyne — for ^2000, to Richard 
Hodgson and William Selby, in equal moieties. In 16 13 William 
Selby died seized of half the manor, leaving George Selby his son 
and heir; which Sir George Selby died in 1625, an( * left six 
daughters, married to Belasyse, Delaval, Curwen, Conyers, Fenwick, 
and Delaval. The estate seems to have descended to Sir W r illiam 
Selby (brother and heir-male of Sir George), sometimes styled 
of Shortflat, county of Northumberland; and in 1633, John 
Hodgson, Esq., and William Fenwick, Gent, had pardon for 
purchasing without licence the same moiety from Sir William 
Selby, Knt., and William Selby, Esq. The alienation was 
probably on trust, for Sir George Selby of Whitehouse is sometimes 
styled of Winlaton. As to Hodgson's share, 8th August, 1631, 
George Hodgson, Esq., acquired three-eights of the manor of Sir 
Robert Hodgson, Knt. William Hodgson, Esq. (brother and 
heir-male of Sir Robert), is described of Winlaton, in 1661; 
his daughter and co-heir Alice, became the wife of Sir Thomas 
Tempest of Stella, whose representatives held a portion of the 
manor. The Andersons also retained some share of the purchase ; 
for 14th April, 1600, Robert Anderson, merchant, acquired one- 
fourth of the manor from his father, Robert Anderson, alderman 
of Newcastle. According to a plan of the lordship of Winlaton 
(1632), Sir William Hodgson's share is 1,601 acres, 2 roods, and 
36 perches; Sir William Selby's, 2,121 acres, 3 roods, and 28 
perches ; and Robert Anderson's, 509 acres and 36 perches. In 
the Newcastle Journal of February 10th, 1753, Winlaton Hall is 
described as the house in which Sir Robert Hodgson formerly 
lived. Probably Sir Robert only made the Hall his summer 
residence, as he is usually described of Hebburn. A few years 



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115 

ago, during alterations at Hebburn Hall, the arms of Sir Robert 
Hodgson and his wife were found on one of the panels. He died 
13th September, 1624, and was buried at Jarrow. William 
Hodgson, brother and heir-male of Sir Robert, is described of 
Winlaton, and seems to have been a parishioner of Ryton, for at 
his death, which took place on the 14th January, 166 1-2, he 
is not buried in the family vault at Jarrow, but at Ryton. This is 
the only member of the family buried at Ryton. Probably on Sir 
Ambrose Crowley founding his colony at Winlaton in 1690, the 
Hall would be deserted by the Hodgsons; although Surtees 
records the interesting circumstance of Mary Hodgson, daughter 
of Philip Hodgson, who resided in Lincolnshire, being married 
privately at Winlaton chapel to Shaftoe. Surtees does not 
mention to which family of Shaftoe the husband of Mary Hodgson 
belonged, neither does he give the date of the marriage. Philip 
Hodgson, Mary's father, was buried at St. Nicholas, on nth of 
March, 1730, and as the chapel at Winlaton was not erected till 
1705, the marriage must have taken place about the first quarter 
of the eighteenth century. 

In the month of April, 1638, there is a petition to the king 
from Sir William Selby. He was disposing of property in Winlaton, 
and most of his money (said he) being to arise out of the sale of 
coal mines. No man could make any gain of them but a free 
Hostman of Newcastle, and there being very few of that Company 
that could dispend so much money, he was like to receive no 
fruit, and the debts must remain unpaid, and his friends who 
stood engaged for the same be undone. Sir William therefore 
prayed that such persons as should buy the coal mines should be 
admitted to trade as Free Hostmen of Newcastle, as he himself 
was : by this means he would soon find chapmen for his mines. 
Sir William Selby afterwards sold his unprofitable lands and coal 
mines in Winlaton to Sir William Blackett, who was a member of 
the Incorporated Company of Hostmen. 

Lord Keeper Guilford who visited the North of England in 
1676, relates the story that Sir William Blackett "cut into a hill 
in order to drain the water, and conquered all difficulties of such 
and the like until he came to clay, and that was too hard for him ; 
for no means of timber and walls would resist, and all was crowded 
together ; and this was by the weight of the hill bearing upon clay 



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that yielded. In this work he lost ^20,000." It is a pity the 
Lord Keeper does not mention the name of the hill ; but in all 
probability it was Winlaton. At the time of Sir William Blackett's 
death, in 1680, he held the manor of Winlaton and the coal mines 
there. 

In the year 1604, Winlaton was visited by the plague. The 
following entry appears in the Ryton register : — "1604. 35 persons 
died of ye plague between June and November out of the town- 
ship of Winlington. ,, It was not uncommon at that time for the 
people to leave the infected villages and erect huts for themselves 
on the fells, where they lived until the plague disappeared. The 
author of "England in the Fifteenth Century" states that "the 
disease was mostly of a typhoid character. The undrained, neg- 
lected soil ; the shallow stagnant waters which lay on the surface 
of the ground ; the narrow, unhealthy homes of all classes of the 
people; the filthy, neglected streets of the towns ; the insufficient and 
unwholesome food ; the abundance of stale fish which was eaten ; 
the scant variety of vegetables which were consumed ; the miser- 
able wages of labourers and artisans, predisposed the agricultural 
and town populations alike to typhoid diseases, and left them 
little chance of recovery when stricken down with pestilence." 

In the year 1690, Sir Ambrose Crowley removed his ironworks 
from Sunderland to Winlaton, which, says Surtees, "consisted of a 
few deserted cottages." It is said that the people of Sunderland 
regarded the ironworks of Crowley with disfavour ; but probably a 
stronger reason for the removal of the factory to Winlaton was 
that the coal found in the neighbourhood was peculiarly adapted 
for smith work. 

The following advertisement from the "Post Boy," No. 510 
(published about 1697 or 1699), gives a detailed account of the 
iron-work Mr. Crowley dealt in at that time : — " Mr. Crowley, at 
the Doublet in Thames-street, London, Ironmonger, doth hereby 
give Notice, that at his works at Winlaton, near Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne, any good Workmen that can make the following Goods, shall 
have constant employment, and their wages every week punctually 
paid, viz : — Augers, Bed-screws, Box and Sad-irons, Chains, Edge- 
Tools, Files, Hammers, Hinges, Hows for the Plantations, Locks, 
especially Ho-locks, Nails, Patten-rings, and almost all other sorts 
of Smiths' Work." 



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The ironworks, or factory as it was usually called, was extended 
in 1 69 1 to Winiaton Mill, and afterwards to Swalwell, Dunston, 
and the Teams. The smaller ware was made at Winiaton, and 
the larger, including the hows for the plantations, harpoons for the 
Greenland whale-fisheries, artillery for the Government, as well as 
the larger chains and anchors, were made at Swalwell and Winiaton 
Mill. 

A great number of workmen were brought from Liege, considered 
at that time the best place in Europe for smiths, who taught the 
Englishmen to make nails for sheathing ships. In the best days 
of the factory, 1,500 men are said to have been employed, using 
7,000 bolls of coal per annum. Winiaton, which "consisted of a 
few deserted cottages" before the advent of Crowley, afterwards 
became a village of great dimensions and considerable social 
importance. Shops in which nail-makers, smiths, chain-makers, 
f hinge-makers, and patten-ring makers made their respective wares, 

were erected in every part of the village; and at a census of the 
parish of Ryton, taken in 1788, by Jonathan Mirehouse, curate, 
Winiaton consisted of 617 families. The iron-work made at Win- 
iaton was sent to Blaydon, where it was conveyed to the New 
Quay at Newcastle. The tolls of the Newcastle Corporation seem 
to have been considered by Crowley as exorbitant, which he 
refused to pay; for in July, 1694, arrears for three years, viz., 
from 5th March, 1691, to 25th March, 1694, were outstanding 
against him; and on October 12th, 1702, a complaint was made 
by Mr. Francis Johnson, the quay master, that Crowley, notwith- 
standing his agreement, paid no duty to the town, and loaded and 
unloaded his goods at Shields, and Blaydon, and other places, 
without licence of the Corporation. 

From the year 1690 till 18 15-16, nearly all the work for the 
Government was made by Crowley. The orders for iron-work 
were received at Winiaton every ten weeks ; sometimes the orders 
were inadequate to keep the workmen employed for more than 
two or three weeks out of the ten, when they were obliged to seek 
work elsewhere. 

The working hours of the establishment were from five in the 
morning till eight at night; and during the early years of the 
community little time seems to have been allowed for recreation 
and mental improvement ; for the factory bell, which was a kind 



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118 

of cuifew, rung every night at nine o'clock, when the workmen 
were expected to retire to rest. The curfew seems to have been 
occasionally disregarded, for the following entry appears in the 
Ryton church books: — "1745. Paid to the constable of Winlaton 
for giving notice to people not to keep late hours. 4&" 

Sir Ambrose Crowley paid great attention to the religious 
welfare of his workmen. Winlaton Hall, which belonged to Sir 
William Blackett, was licenced for preaching in 1703. On April 
17th, 1705, a subscription was commenced for building a chapel, 
which was finished and regularly pewed in the following January. 
It had a gallery at the west end, with a turret and a clock, and 
afforded accommodation for three hundred persons. The work- 
men chose a minister of their own, and contributed to his support 
from their wages, one half-farthing in the shilling. To the sum 
so raised the proprietors added an annual gift of ^10. Afterwards 
a fixed stipend of ^50 per annum was settled on the minister, 
and the workmen's contributions amounting to more than that, 
the surplus was devoted to the maintenance of a public school. 
The chapel was built on the foundation of St. Anne's Chapel, 
destroyed in the Rebellion of the Earls in 1569. An account of 
the re-building of Winlaton Chapel was printed in London in 
171 1, to which is prefixed a letter of Lord Crewe's (September 
23rd, 1 7 10), stating that Mr. Jonathan Story had been very instru- 
mental in the good work. Hutchinson says that human bones 
have been frequently dug up, when there was occasion to break 
up the soil to any depth. In recent years excavations have several 
times been made in the grounds adjoining the chapel, under the 
direction of Mr. T. C. Nicholson, architect, of Blaydon, but no 
human bones have been found. 

Among the chaplains appointed to Winlaton chapel were — 
Edmund Lodge, 1705 (Master of Haydon Bridge) ; Watson James 
Mear, 1706. 

The following entry appears in the Ryton parish register: — 

"1721, Aug. 9th. Eleanor, of Mr. James Meier, late 

chaplain to ye factory at Winlaton (bur.)." "Affabel Battel (buried 

26th March, 1723). Ions Robert Wright, died 1768; 

Thomas Spooner, T. Carr." 

Daily service was performed in the chapel. In 1703 Sir 



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Ambrose also provided a gallery in Ryton church, for the accom- 
modation of his workmen. 

Winlaton chapel having been abandoned by the Company, it 
fell into decay. In 1816 a large school-room was erected upon 
the same site, by subscription, aided by gifts from the National 
and the Diocesan School Societies, and from Lord Crewe's 
trustees. On a stone inserted in the west end was inscribed: — 
Cur a Caroli Thorp, m.a., Ryton, 1816, but the hand of time 
has erased the inscription. 

Sir Ambrose Crowley was knighted January 1st, 1706; served 
as sheriff of London in 1707 ; and died in 1713, being then one 
of the aldermen of that city, and M.P. for Andover. The sign of 
the Doublet, both at the Company's wharfs at Greenwich, and the 
warehouses in Lower Thames-street, is said to have been a picture 
of the identical leather jerkin in which he worked when a common 
smith. Surtees says: — "By Mary, daughter and co-heir of Charles 
Owen of London, gentleman, he had one son and five daughters. 
Mary, the eldest, was married before 1707, to James Hallet, citizen 
and goldsmith, of London ; and Lettice, Sarah, Anne, and Elizabeth 
were under age at the time of his decease. Lettice married after- 
wards Sir John Hinde Cotton, Bart.; Sarah became the wife of 
Humphry Parsons, Esq. (Lord Mayor of London 1707) ; and 
Elizabeth married John, 10th Lord St. John. John Crowley, Esq., 
only son of Sir Ambrose, born in 1689, married Theodosia, 
daughter of the Rev. Joseph Gascoigne, st.p., vicar of Enfield, 
Co. Middlesex, and by her had John and Ambrose, who died 
without issue, and four daughters: Mary, second wife to Sir 
William Stanhope, K.B.; Elizabeth, married to John, 2nd Earl of 
Ashburnham; Theodosia, married to Charles Boone, Esq., M.P. 
for Castle Rising ; and a posthumous daughter who died under 
age. Theodosia, the widow of John Crowley, Esq., died in 1782, 
and devised the bulk of her property to the Earl of Ashburnham, 
her son-in-law, and to George, Viscount St. Asaph, his only son, 
and the ladies Henrietta, Jemima, Elizabeth, and Theodosia, his 
daughters, then her only surviving grand-children." 

The firm was afterwards known as " Crowley, Millington & Co." 
In the year 181 6 the establishment was removed from Winlaton, 
after which the greater part of Crowley's iron-work was made at 
Swalwell and Winlaton Mill. 



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The workmen employed by Crowley were governed by a code 
of laws instituted by the worthy founder, and put in execution by 
a Court of Arbitrators, held in Winlaton every ten weeks, for 
hearing and determining cases among the workmen, by which 
their differences or claims to justice were settled in an easy and 
expeditious manner, and they were secured from the expense ot 
law-suits, the fees being fixed at a moderate rate. The compulsory 
power consisted in expulsion, which included a forfeiture of the 
claim on the fund to which they had been contributing while in 
the society. One regulation particularly merits notice : no 
publican could sue in the courts for debts contracted for drink. 
"Crowley's Court" was the chief tribunal of the factory, and from 
which there was no appeal. At the "Court" a tradesman might 
sue a workman at the factory for debt ; and if he sustained his 
claim, the debtor had no other choice than to submit to a regular 
deduction from his wages. If he questioned the ruling of the 
"Court," and rebelled against its authority, he sacrificed his 
employment. The "Court" was held in the office at Winlaton. 

The social arrangements of this community deserve the highest 
commendation, especially their scheme of old-age pensions. 
When any workman was ill, he sent a note to the Court, and, 
after being considered by the Arbitrators, and found to be a 
deserving case for assistance, a sum of money was lent to him 
until he recovered. When disabled, or unable to work through 
old age, the workmen received from the Court the sum of five 
shillings — and in some cases seven shillings — weekly. The super- 
annuated were known as "Crowley's Poor," and wore a badge 
with "Crowley's Poor" on the left shoulder. On the death of a 
workman, the widow either received a weekly allowance of 2s. 6d. 
from the Court, or was provided with employment in the factory, 
usually to make nail bags. 

From the following entry in one of the books of the Court, we 
ascertain how the money for the use of the "Poor" was provided: — 
"17th January, 1810. Ordered — That all workmen in the service 
may be allowed the privilege of the Court. All workmen employed 
in the service as non-domestics, but paying 5d. per pound, are 
allowed the benefit of the Court and school for their children. All 
workmen employed in the service paying 8d. per pound, after a 
year's service, are considered as domestics in every sense of the 



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word." A surgeon was appointed to attend the whole body of 
workmen. 

From the following entries in the books of the Court, it will be 
seen that all complaints, disputes, and misdemeanours of the 
workmen were dealt with by that Tribunal. "March nth, 1807. 
John Ayre, being 63 yeare old, a report being prevalent that he is 
going to marry a foreigner, it is ordered that in the event of his 
superannuation, this committee consider nothing for his wife, or in 
the event of his death, the widow so left will not be entitled to relief 
from the poor box." "April 22nd, 1807. Jos. Smith's note requests 
to have his son bound apprentice." "John Whitfield requests to 
make the poors' clothes." " Deer. 7th, 1807. Stephen Hobbner's 
note to have his grand-daughter educated at the Fife School." 
"June 8th, 1808. Jos. Greenfield not being able to work any longer, 
humbly requests the full allowance." "August 15th, 1810. Jos. 
Greenfield to be allowed a coffin." "October 3rd, 1810. Thos. 
Moralee requests a superannuation allowance for himself and wife 
(7s.), granted." "March 4th, 1812. Margaret Ayre having been 
put into the Court for scandal, it was agreed to by the Arbitrators 
that in all such cases, provided a mulct be awarded the plaintiff, 
the defendant, although a widow, must pay the Court charges." 
This Margaret Ayre was probably the foreigner married to the 
John Ayre mentioned above. "March 3rd, 1^3. William Rippith 
requests the following pay for Edward Co wen, viz., repairs his 
shoes, is. ; also a piece of cloth to make him a waistcoat breest, 
and an allowance of 6d. to pay for buttons and thread for the 
same." "John Lee requests a loan of 4s. (granted)." "August 
nth, 1813. John Passmore requests a coat." "April 6th, 1814. 
The workmen who attend the poor's funerals kindly request an 
allowance of one pennyworth of bread each man. This #nay be 
allowed to twelve men only." "September 29th, 181 3. Thos. 
Biggins, Robt. Parker, information being made against these 
persons by Jacob Bolt, for trespassing in the Company's turnip 
field, and taking from thence sundry turnips. We have examined 
the parties and find it to be fact, we therefore mulct them 2s. 6d., 
one half to the informer and the other to Winlaton Poor." 
"January 15th, 1814. John Smart's salary to be stopped till he 
appears to Arbitrator's Court for going a begging." "July 6th, 
18 1 4. Thomas Biggins, Thomas Jobling. These persons having 



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been detected in borrowing and lending iron, contrary to law 51 
and verse 1 and 2, they are therefore mulcted 8s. each, to be 
collected at 6d. per week, for the benefit of Winlaton Poor." 
Bastardy cases were also settled at the Court 

In the factory the most rigid system of registration was carried 
out. When a workman secured employment, his name, place of 
birth, place of residence, height, religion, and complexion were 
tabulated. 

On the 17th October, 1704, Mr. Crowley, who was in London, 
received information from Mr. Jonathan Story of Winlaton, that 
" many of his (Mr. Crowley's) nailors and patten-ring makers had 
left his service at Winlaton and gone to work for Mr. Edward 
Harrison, ^Lt Swalwell, after their passage money had been paid." 

Afterwards every workman in the service of Mr. Crowley had to 
sign an agreement similar to the following: — "2nd May, 1720. 
Articles of Agreement between John Crowley, Esq., London, 
Merchant, and the workmen engaged in his service at Winlaton, 
Winlaton Mill, Swalwell, and other places, in the Parish of Ryton, 
in the County of Durham. I agree to give six month's notice 
before leaving my employment, and also agree not to work at any 
other place within forty miles of Newcastle. Penalty ^50." 

It was probably to secure his runaway workmen that so minute 
a description of them was registered by Mr. Crowley, at Winlaton, 

The business of the firm was transacted by the head agent and 
two surveyors, called the u Committee of Survey." In the year 
1704, Mr. Jonathan Story was the head agent, and William Wright 
and Henry Stafford were the surveyors. 

In all communications relating to business between the firm and 
their customers, the number of weeks that had elapsed since the 
beginning of the firm was specified, as the following memorandum 
will show : — " Coales led from North Banks Pitts to Winlaton 
Mill, for use of the Executors of the late Alderman Crowley, 
defunct, in the following weeks. Week 2230, ending Thursday 
August ye 8th, 1728. 130 fothers." 

Crowley's workmen were known far and wide as " Crowley's 
Crew," and formed a compact and independent body. Sometimes, 
when trade was depressed, or the price of provisions high, they 
were not particular about the rights of property. 

From the following interesting letter to the Magistrates at 



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Gateshead, we learn that the people of Winlaton, in 1767, were on 
the verge of revolution, on account of the high price demanded for 
provisions. 

u To the Worshipful the Justices of the Peace for the County of 
Durham, assembled at Gateshead. 

"We, the inhabitants and workmen of Winlaton, in the Parish 
of Ryton, humbly beg leave to represent to your Worships that 
formerly we used to have butter, eggs, poultry, potatoes, and many 
other articles of life brought into town by ye farmers and country 
people adjacent and exposed to open sale and sold to the highest 
bidder, but that now we are come to that unhappy situation that 
we are forced to buy all our butter, &c, of hucksters, at the price 
they please to impose, who make a practice of meeting the country 
people at a distance from the town and buying up what they bring 
for sale, if they be not such people as they have already engaged 
to bring all they have to sell to their own houses, which is ye case 
of many farmers. But what we principally beg your Worships' 
advice about is concerning a very necessary article of life at this 
time when bread-corn is so dear that it is even beyond the ability 
of ye poorer sort to purchase a sufficiency of it, and that is the 
potatoes, which, throughout the whole parish (we believe) are 
already engrossed into a few hands as they are now growing, and 
some of these bargains transferred twice over at ye monstrous 
profits of five pounds each time. Now, as this is the case, and as 
there are many hundreds of ye inferior class of people here who are 
all murmuring at these impositions, and the cries of the poor are 
so intolerable that we are very apprehensive that if these grievances 
are not remedied, they will in a short time make a riot, in which 
some innocent person may suffer. Therefore we humbly beg your 
Worships will take the affair into your own hands, or else point out 
to us a method how these grievances may be redressed at the 
easiest expense, which will greatly oblige, gentlemen, your most 
obedient and very humble servants. 

" Winlaton, September ye 4th, 1767." 

In the above letter reference is made to the market which was 
held weekly at Winlaton, when articles of food were exposed for 
sale on the Sandhill. But what we wish to point out is, that after 
the magistrates had refused to interfere with the way in which the 



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-farmers sold their produce, self-preservation on the part of "Crow- 
ley's Crew," compelled them to set the '• rights of property" at 
defiance, by stopping the carts of the farmers on the way to New- 
castle market, and selling their produce at prices which the 
Winlaton people considered reasonable. This conduct would 
naturally evoke protests and grumbling from the farmers, but any 
active opposition on their part to the course adopted by "Crowley's 
Crew," would have been both useless and dangerous. 

On August 1 8th, 1790, John Brown of Winlaton, and two ot 
his companions, were executed at Morpeth for horse-stealing. 
The execution of three criminals at one time drew an immense 
concourse of spectators. 

Some of the amusements and pastimes of "Crowley's Crew" 
were cruel and demoralising. Poaching was carried on to an 
alarming extent. Sometimes a gang of poachers would number 
twenty or thirty men, who naturally produced terror wherever they 
went. A desperate affair took place at Alston Moor on August 
13th, 1839, between a number of men from Winlaton and the 
neighbourhood, and the gamekeepers connected with an estate at 
Alston. Among the poachers was Will Renwick, a well-known 
Winlaton man, and an ardent sportsman. The poachers having 
secured their booty, retired to a public-house for refreshment, 
when the house was surrounded by the keepers, who satisfied 
themselves with watching till the poachers made their appearance. 
The Winlaton men understanding the state of affairs, on leaving 
the house made a tremendous rush, Renwick taking the lead and 
felling several of the keepers with his gun, thus enabling his com- 
panions to reach the outside, where a long and terrible conflict 
took place, in which one of the keepers was so badly injured that 
he afterwards died. All the poachers escaped. 

Cock-fighting did not prevail to the same extent at Winlaton as 
it did at Swalwell and Whickham, on account of the sport in the 
last-named villages receiving support from men of wealth and 
social influence ; yet Barlow Fell, which was the usual resort of 
the sporting fraternity in the neighbourhood, has been the scene 
of many a hard-contested main. 

Bull-baiting was a form of sport highly relished by crowds of 
people who assembled to witness it. Bulldogs were kept in great 
numbers by the iron-workers and pitmen. The bulls were generally 



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brought from Newcastle or Sunderland. A shilling was paid by 
the owner of a dog for a run at the bull, which was fastened to a 
ring fixed in a heavy stone in the ground. If the dog seized the 
bull by the nose, and pinned it, as the act was termed, the owner 
of the dog was complimented on its strength and courage ; but if 
the bull was attacked in any other part than the nose, the dog was 
considered cowardly and ill-bred. Frequently the dogs were 
tossed into the air, and sometimess killed by the bull, when the 
excited multitude cheered vociferously. Bulls were baited on a 
piece of ground called the bull-ring, on which Winlaton church 
now stands, and which at that day formed part of the common 
lands of Winlaton. The last bull baited on that spot was in the 
year 1826 or 1827. Bulls were also baited on Barlow Fell. An 
old man named James Massey, of Winlaton Mill, and another 
named Robert Brooks of Winlaton, both eighty-five years of age, 
have seen bulls baited on "the fell" about the year 1828. 

The men of Winlaton were ardent and active politicians. Under 
the old regime, the iron-workers were noted for their strong high-tory 
principles, and any meeting held in the village calling for reform 
in Church or State, would have been for the promoters a dangerous 
proceeding. But about the beginning of the present century a 
change seems to have taken place in the political sentiments of the 
iron-workers of Winlaton ; for at the first public meeting held in the 
open air at Newcastle, on the Parade Ground in Percy-street, October 
nth, 1819, "Crowley's Crew" were present in great numbers, and 
Mr. Thomas Hodgson of Winlaton was one of the speakers. 
"Crowley's Crew" on that occasion seems to have spread terror 
through the town ; for in a letter from the Mayor of Newcastle to 
the then Home Secretary, he states that "seven hundred men who 
came from a village about three miles distant were prepared with 
arms to resist the civil power." It matters little whether the village 
referred to by the Mayor was Winlaton or Swalwell, for at both 
of these villages arms were manufactured by the workmen, to 
protect themselves against what they considered to be the actions 
of a despotic government 

In the year 1839, Winlaton was the head quarters of Chartism 
in the North of England. Almost all the leaders of the movement, 
including George Julian Harney, Dr. Taylor, Dr. (afterwards Sir) 



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John Fife, Samuel Kydd, and John Emerson, visited Winlaton, 
and addressed public meetings on the Sandhill. 

The authorities were made acquainted with all the proceedings 
of the Winlaton Chartists, for Colonel Campbell — afterwards Lord 
Clyde — who commanded a regiment of dragoons at Newcastle, 
frequently visited Mr. G. H. Ramsay, J. P., at his residence at 
Winlaton, for that purpose ; so that when he had to disperse the 
Chartists at the Battle of the Forth, July 30th, 1839, tne ^ r numbers 
and their peculiar method of warfare were well known to him. 

The Winlaton Chartists, more active and daring than their 
brethren, were active in preparing for ulterior measures, and occupied 
every leisure moment in the manufacture of thousands of "caltrops," 
an iron-pronged instrument for the annoyance of cavalry. The 
"caltrop" was better known among the workmen as the "craa-foot" 
Pike-heads were made in great numbers, and sold to the Chartists 
in other places for is. 6d. a piece. On the 15th of July, 1839, a 
man named Jacob Robinson, belonging to Winlaton, was brought 
up at the police-office, Newcastle, and charged with being disorderly, 
and on being searched, two pike-heads, each eighteen inches in 
length, were found on him ; he was immediately imprisoned. On 
the 2nd of August, 1839, a considerable number of special 
constables were sworn in, in the neighbourhood of Winlaton. 
During that year (1839) great excitement prevailed in the north ot 
England, it being feared that the Chartists would come into 
collision with the forces of the Government. So bitter was the 
feeling of the Chartists against the reigning powers, that many of 
them began to smoke herbs instead of tobacco to reduce the 
revenue, and thus " bring the Government to its senses." The 
"sacred month" (August, 1839) was perhaps better "observed by 
the Chartists of Winlaton than by those of any other village in 
England. At the " Battle of the Forth," " Crowley's Crew," 
attended by the Winlaton Brass Band, was there in strong force; 
and whatever may be said about the humiliating part played by some 
of Crowley's workmen who lived at other villages, in the memor- 
able "battle" — perhaps "rout" would be the better word to use — 
during the same month (August) an event occurred at Winlaton 
which shows that the preparations made by the Chartists to oppose 
any hostile force were both extensive and dangerous. A report 
reached Winlaton that a number of dragoons intended visiting the 



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village to search for arms. Previous to this startling announcement, 
large quantities of hand-grenades, pikes, spears, and caltrops had 
been made. Hand-grenades were bottles filled with gunpowder, 
in which a fuse was inserted, and the bottles placed in bags 
containing pieces of iron. After the report was made to the 
Chartist leaders, a number of men— -one with a gun — were placed 
at every available entrance to the village ; as soon as the soldiers 
were seen, the gun had to be fired, to apprise the villagers of their 
approach. Two men, one named John McPherson, better known 
as Jackey the Glazier, with a fife, and George Burrell with a drum, 
had to make known to the people the expected visit of the 
dragoons. 

Fourteen cannons were placed on the Sandhill, opposite the 
principal entrance to the village. Scores of men were ready to 
scatter caltrops on the principal thoroughfare, while several with 
hand-grenades were secreted in a yard on the south side of the 
Sandhill, ready to throw them among the soldiers on their arrival. 
All superfluous pikes and spears were concealed, and the arrival 
of the soldiers was expected in breathless excitement. Fortunately 
the report was false, and the soldiers never appeared. We will not 
anticipate what the consequences would have been had the soldiers 
arrived, but the courage and daring of the Winlaton Chartists at 
that time is beyond dispute. 

Few men are living now who can really claim to have belonged 
to " Crowley's Crjew " in their palmy days, but episodes of the 
Chartist movement are still related by the old people with 
enthusiasm. 

Freemasonry at Winlaton. 

Freemasonry in the north of England probably owes its existence 
to Crowley's workmen. A tradition existed among the older work- 
men, that a Lodge was founded by the operative masons brought 
from London by Sir Ambrose Crowley. From the records of the 
Lodge of Industry, No 48, we know that the Lodge was held at 
Winlaton in 1725. There is another tradition, that on the intro- 
duction of Freemasonry into the village the meetings were held in 
a field, and the entrance guarded by armed men. In 1735 tne 
Lodge was removed to Swalwell, where it was held until 1845, 
when it was removed to Gateshead. 



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The iron-work made at Winlaton and Swalwell was carried from 
Shields to London by two vessels belonging to Crowley, viz., 
the Crowley and the Theodosia, and by means of these vessels 
communication was kept up between the Lodge at Winlaton and 
the Grand Lodge. Mr. Joseph Laycock was Provincial Grand 
Master in 1734. Among the Worshipful Masters of the Lodge 
are found the names of William Dalton, 1737 ; William Hawdon, 
1740; and John Rayne, 1747; who lived at Winlaton and 
Blaydon. 

Winlaton Subscription Library. 

On July 19th, 1 819, a Subscription Library was established at 
Winlaton. In 1828, it consisted of 340 volumes, and 55 members; 
in 1895, it consists of 2,549 volumes, and only 17 members. The 
library was originally held in a room on the west side of the Sand- 
hill ; and from the stairs which led from the street to the library 
the Chartist lecturers addressed the people. The library is now 
held in a room on the east side of St. Paul's School. 

A Mechanics' Institution was established in 1847, but it was 
abandoned a few years ago. After the removal of Crowley's 
establishment from Winlaton to Swalwell in 1816, a great number 
of the workmen left Winlaton for other places. 

We cannot do better than sum up the history of this remarkable 
colony of workmen than by quoting from Mr. Joseph Cowen's 
interesting address to the Blaydon Burn Lodge of the Durham 
Miners' Union, on the 7th October, 1883. Mr. Cowen says : — 
" When many busy centres of industry in Durham were moorland 
and forest, Winlaton was the seat of a vigorous industry. The 
semi-socialistic experiment of Crowley was interesting both politic- 
ally and industrially. It got together a body of workmen who 
gave a distinctive character to the village, who afterwards acted as 
pioneers in the special trades in other districts. They lived largely 
in community ; they began their work with prayer ; they ate to- 
gether ; they adjusted their differences by voluntary courts ; they 
had a church and a school, a cock-pit and a bull-ring. They were 
stout church and king men, rough, but loyal." 

Although the establishment of Crowley was removed from 
Winlaton to Swalwell, still the Winlaton smiths maintained their 
ancient fame, and for the description of articles they manufactured, 



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129 

were unequalled by any in the kingdom. A number of men who 
had worked under Crowley, now began business on their own 
account, and nails, hinges, patten-rings, chains, etc, were manu- 
factured the same as under the old firm. 

Early in the 18th century, Mr. Joseph Laycock came from 
Wetherby, in Yorkshire, to manage the factory at Winlaton. 
Afterwards the factory passed into the hands of the family, in 
which it remained till the beginning of the present century. In 
1828, John Cowen, Charles Dixon, James Hurst, Robert Laycock 
and Sons, Richard Parker, Robert Ramsay, William Renwick, 
and George, Cuthbert, and Andrew Thompson, are described as 
manufacturers at Winlaton. These firms were all offshoots from 
Crowley, Millington and Company, the members of which repre- 
sented the oldest families in the village. Afterwards a great many 
of the Winlaton smiths and nailors obtained shops of their own, 
and worked for other manufacturers. They received from their 
employers iron, and orders as to the kind of ware required. After 
being made, the goods were conveyed in panniers over the backs 
of donkeys, to their destination. 

Many of the nailmakers, with donkeys and carts, travelled 
through Durham and Northumberland, and hawked their ware. 
The nailmakers and patten-ring makers, in their best days, could 
earn no more than 3s. a day ; bed-screw makers and ladle makers, 
4s. ; makers of small chain, 4s. ; and large chain, 5s. When we 
consider that the day's work commenced at five in the morning 
and lasted till eight o'clock at night, there was little chance of the 
workmen becoming millionaires. Females were employed in nail- 
making; the last two girls worked in a shop near to Amen Corner, 
in 1835. It is worthy of remark that one of the girls afterwards 
was married to one of the most successful manufacturers on the 
south side of the Tyne. 

Winlaton, as a manufacturing place, has seen its best days. At 
present there is not a man engaged in nailmaking or in making 
patten-rings. Smithwork and chains are still manufactured at the 
engineering establishment of Messrs. Thompson, at the east end 
of the village; chains by Messrs. Bagnall; and at the west end are 
the shops belonging to the " Nut and Bolt Company, Limited," 
but these establishments only remind us of the world-famed factoiy 
of Sir Ambrose Crowley. 

10 



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WINLATON IN 1895. 



Winlaton Bank commences at Shibdon, and leads to Winlaton. 
The route is both long and steep. At the foot of the bank, on the 
right hand side, are the Biaydon Board Schools, opened in 1889. 
They are built after the design of Mr. T. C. Nicholson, of Biaydon ; 
they are large, commodious, and handsome, and occupy a com- 
manding view northward. Half-a-mile away from the Schools, 
towards Winlaton, on the right hand, is the Bleach Green, or 
Lady well Bleachery. In the year 1830, the place was used as a 
bleachery by Mr. Robert Belt of Winlaton, whose mills were 
situate at the foot of Pandon Dene, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Mr. 
Belt's garden was at the high side of the Green, in which there 
was a fish-pond, supplied with water from the Ladies' well, or 
Ladywell, at the south side. The Bleachgreen now consists of 
about twenty old-fashioned houses huddled together, surrounded 



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by a number of neat and well-kept gardens. A quarter of a mile 
further, on the left hand, stands Winlaton Cottage, formerly the 
residence of Mr. Robert Belt, a gentleman once well known and 
highly respected in the neighbourhood. On the south side of the 
road, and nearly opposite to this cottage, there are a number of 
allotments, comprising about three acres of land, purchased from 
W. B. Beaumont, Esq., M.P., in 1851. On the right hand there 
is a road called Litchfield Lane, which leads to Biaydon. 

The Wesleyan Methodists have a handsome chapel on the 
east side of the lane. In the year 1836 they commenced to 
worship in the -chapel in Front-street. In the year 1828, 
services were held in the long room of the "Oak Tree'' 
public-house. Hodgson Casson frequently visited Winlaton, and 
preached in the "Oak Tree." On one occasion, when preaching 
from the words, " It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye 
of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven," 
he exclaimed : " It would be easier for a pig to flee up an apple- 
tree and whistle like a blackbird, than for a rich man to enter the 
kingdom of heaven !" This kind of language used to-day in a 
Methodist chapel, would be a glaring violation of good taste, and 
preaching in the long room of a public-house would not be allowed, 
W* yet the result of Casson's preaching in the long room was the 

opening of a chapel in 1836, which was used until the erection of 
the present building in Litchfield Lane in 1868. The chapel is 
built of stone, and will seat one hundred and eighty. The chapel 
was destroyed by fire on February 24th, and re-opened November 
13th, 1895. 

Striking to the left after reaching Litchfield Lane, and passing 
the Commercial Hotel, you reach Corner Houses and Commercial- 
street, chiefly occupied by miners. Southward there is a pleasant* 
footpath through the gardens and fields to Park Gate, one of the 
entrances to Ax well Park. 

Returning to the main street of the village, you have on your 
right hand "The Square/' consisting of a number of very old 
shops, which were probably the first built by Ambrose Crowley in 
1690. On the north side of the Square is Old well Lane. For- 
merly there was a well in the lane for public use, but it is now 
covered up. A stone inserted in the well bears the inscription : 
A. C. D. 1 747, the letter C being the initial of Crowley. 



■ft 



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Oldwell House, formerly the residence of the Laycock family, 
stands at the foot of Oldwell Lane. Early in the eighteenth 
century Mr. Joseph Laycock came from Wetherby, in Yorkshire, 
to Winlaton to take the management of the factory. He was 
succeeded by Robert Laycock, born in 1763. This gentleman 
had three sons — Joseph, Richard, and Robert Laycock. Joseph 
was born November 24th, 1798. About the year 1835 ne built 
the present Winlaton Hall, the residence of H. W. Grace, Esq. 
Mr. Laycock was engaged in the iron trade at Winlaton, and in 
the manufacture of railway waggons at Stella, by which he became 
a wealthy man. He was Mayor of Newcastle in 1858, and was a 
Justice of the Peace for Durham and Northumberland, and for 
many years Chairman of the Blyth and Tyne Railway. Mr. 
Laycock bought the Low Gosforth estate, and built Low Gosforth Jjj^\Liof 
House, where he resided until his death on August 2nd, 1881. * 
fclis only son, Robert Laycock, Esq., born in 1833, married Anne, 
daughter of Christine Allhusen, Esq. He was M.R for North 
Lincolnshire. His principal seat was Wiseton Hall, Nottingham- 
shire. He died August 14th, 1881. 

Returned by Oldwell Lane to the main street, Winlaton Hall is 
seen on the west side of The Square. As already stated, the Hall 
was the seat of the Hodgsons, and in 1753 was tenanted by 
Ambrose and John Crowley, Esquires. Part of the old mansion is 
supported at the east side by strong buttresses. On a stone in the 
gable is inscribed — "Crowley and Belt's Castle, 1864." Sixty 
years ago, two sisters of Mr. Robert Belt sold provisions in a part 
of the building, which is the only claim the Belts have to be 
noticed in connection with it. The Primitive Methodists, previous 
to the year 1850, conducted religious services in part of the 
' building, but in the above year a chapel was built on the east side, 
to seat one hundred and ten persons. On the west side of the 
Hall is the school, and behind the school is a lane leading to 
Golden Hill, where the shop stood in which Blythe Hurst worked 
before he became a clergyman. 

This remarkable man was born on the 6th July, 1806. The 
Hursts came originally from the neighbourhood of Manchester, 
and settled at Winlaton about the closing years of the seventeenth 
century. Robert, the father of Blythe Hurst, married Susannah 
Gibson, who belonged to one of the old families of Swalwell. 



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Blythe was sent to school when four years of age, where he learned 
to read the New Testament ; and at seven he was sent to work in 
one of the smiths' shops at Winlaton. Until he was fifteen, he 
attended the Sabbath-school established by the Venerable Arch- 
deacon Thorp. When about eighteen he was seriously afflicted, 
which led him to think seriously about religion, and to surrender 
his heart to God. He soon after joined the Wesleyan Methodist 
body, and became an acceptable local preacher. He says : " On 
particular occasions I have addressed upwards of eight hundred 
people at once." When about nineteen, he began the pursuit of 
knowledge under difficulties of the most arduous character. In his 
daily labour he was employed from six o'clock in the morning till eight 
in the evening, with only an interval of two-and-a-half hours for rest 
and refreshment His -wages were small, and few books were at his 
command. Having determined to master the Greek language, 
and being possessed of one shilling and sixpence, he set off to 
Newcastle, and purchased a Greek Grammar at a second-hand 
book-stall. Having little time to spare, he wrote the declensions 
of nouns, and the conjugations of the verbs, upon the flame-stone 
which hung before the smith's fire to preserve his face from the 
heat ; and by this means he got them off by heart He afterwards 
purchased a Greek Testament, and, at the age of twenty-one being 
in possession of a pound-note, he secured "Parkhurst's Greek 
Lexicon" at E. Charnley's shop in Newcastle. Mr. Hurst subse- 
quently became an adept in Latin, Hebrew, and Syriac. When about 
thirty years of age he left the Wesleyan Methodist body, and joined 
the Methodist New Connexion, still labouring as a local preacher. 
In the latter end of 1839 and the beginning of 1840, Alexander 
Campbell, one of Robert Owen's socialist missionaries, visited 
Winlaton, and lectured in the village. Mr. Hurst wrote a pamphlet 
entitled, '* Christianity No Priestcraft," in reply to Mr. Campbell's 
lectures. Unfortunately for the writer, he was unable to sell his 
pamphlet, which brought to his assistance the Rev. H. Wardell, 
rector of Winlaton, who took all the remaining copies off his 
hands. Mr. Wardell sent a copy of the pamphlet to the Rev. Dr. 
Maltby, Bishop of Durham, who, after reading it, requested Mr. 
Wardell to supply him with particulars ot the author's life. The 
bishop wrote next to Mr. Douglas, rector of Whickham, to ascertain 
Mr. Hurst's ability to make ready application of his acquirements. 



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Mr. Hurst had previously severed himself from the New Connexion 
body, and on the suggestion of Dr. Maltby, he determined to enter 
the Church of England. The bishop had an interview with him 
in Newcastle, and made arrangements for his ordination. On the 
9th of July, 1842, the Winlaton blacksmith proceeded to Auckland, 
where, after passing the necessary examination, he was in due 
course ordained a clergyman of the Church of England. In a short 
time he was appointed curate of Garrigill, near Alston. On leaving 
Winlaton, Mr. Hurst was presented with a purse of gold as a mark 
of the esteem and respect in which he was held in the village. He 
was afterwards appointed to the living of Slaley, near Hexham ; 
and in the year 1854 he was promoted to the vicarage of Collierly. 
After Mr. Hurst became a clergyman, and had at his command 
time for study, he became a linguist of the highest order. In 
addition to his complete acquaintance with the modern European 
languages, he was master of the Hebrew, Syriac, Sanscrit, Chaldaic, 
Persian, Arabic, and other languages of antiquity. Mr. Hurst 
delivered several lectures in the Church of England Institute, and 
in the Blaydon Literary Institute, on Semitic Inscriptions, and on 
Egyptian Hieroglyphics, displaying great information on those 
abstruse and difficult questions. In recognition of his scholarly 
attainments, the degree of Ph.D. (Doctor in Philosophy) was con- 
ferred on him by the University of Rostock, in Germany. After 
a long life of usefulness, the Rev. Blythe Hurst, one of the most 
distinguished men of his day, died on June 24th, 1882. His 
remains rest in the cemetery at Winlaton, where a handsome 
granite tombstone is erected to his memory, bearing the inscrip- 
tion — 

In 

Affectionate Remembrance 

of the 

Rev. Blythe Hurst, M.A., Ph.D., 

Vicar of Collierly, 

In the County of Durham, 

Who died June 24th, 1882, 

Aged 76 Years. 

A little westward is Jobling's Garth, in which stand the 

Congregational Chapel and Hall. In the year 1732, a number 

of people belonging to different churches in Newcastle, but unable 



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135 

to attend them regularly, owing to the distance, united and met in 
a dwelling house at Woodside, near Ryton. They were soon 
formed into a congregation, and placed under the care of the Rev. 
J. Crossland. In 1750, the society removed to Swalwell, and, 
after many changes, during a period of nearly eighty years, the 
church became connected with the Secession body on the 1st of 
April, 1827. At that time the preacher sent by the Presbytery 
divided his services between Winlaton and Swalwell, preaching at 
the latter place in the forenoon, and at the former place in the 
afternoon. For some reason or other, the Presbytery came to the 
resolution of discouraging the services at Winlaton, and confining 
them exclusively to Swalwell. The members from Winlaton, 
fourteen in number, applied to the Presbytery to be separated from 
the Swalwell congregation, and to have a distinct supply of sermons 
for themselves. The Presbytery granted their request, and the 
consequence was the withdrawal of many of their members, and 
the formation of an Independent congregation at Winlaton. The 
Congregational Chapel was built in 1829, and accommodates 
about 200 people. A little westward, and on the south side of the 
village, is Parliament Corner and Street. The " Corner," at one 
time, was the resort of the village politicians. Parliament-street 
contains a number of old smiths' shops, and the street leads to 
California, which comprises about three acres of land, purchased 
by a number of working men from the Hon. H. T. Liddell, in 
1848, and laid out for gardens, which have been very successful. 
A number of excellent houses were afterwards built, and altogether 
California is one of the prettiest and healthiest parts of W r inlaton. 
On the north side of Front-street is the Sandhill, which has always 
been a convenient place for holding public meetings, and where 
the Hopping is annually held. Formerly the Sandhill used to be 
illuminated by a large bonfire on Royal Oak Day (29th May). 
Previous to the illumination, a great number of the villagers 
repaired to the woods and returned with branches of the oak tree. 
Twigs were displayed in the button-holes of their coats, which were 
known as "bate wood," and if any unfortunate man was seen without 
the " sprig," or *' bate wood," he was immediately " bated," which 
often meant rather severe treatment. 

Behind Church-street is the Salt Market, which contains several 
very old houses, in one of which William (Will) Ren wick was born, 



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and in which he died. William Renwick was well-known in the 
North of England as a crack shot with the gun, and as a pugilist. 
Strong, active, and daring, he was a terrible antagonist in the usual 
pugilistic encounters at hoppings, hirings, and pigeon matches; 
and woe to the unfortunate gladiator who opposed Renwick without 
measuring his man. On October 31st, 1837, a pugilistic encounter 
between a negro, known as "Young Molyneux," and William 
Renwick, took place at Middleton, near Cambo, for ^25 a-side. 
The battle, after lasting for an hour and a half, during which eighty- 
seven rounds were fought (forty in the dark), was won by Molyneux, 
who butted his antagonist with his head so severely and continuously 
as at length to render Renwick incapable of further resistance. 
Another battle between Molyneux and Renwick was fought on 
Shap Fell, Cumberland, in June, 1839, for ;£ico a-side, when 
Molyneux was again the victor. William Renwick was also 
defeated by John Oliver (Coffee Johnney), a well-known Winlaton 
character, in a pitched battle on Hedley Fell, 20th May, 1850. 

North-street is a continuation of Church street, which leads via 
Blaydon Bank to Blaydon. On the west side of North-street is 
Cromwell Place, from which a field path leads to Blaydon. 

The field in which the Hall Farm stands, and known as the 
Hall-Garth, was formerly the Winlaton Race-course. In 1839, on 
May 20th and 21st (Whit-Monday and Tuesday), a Sweepstakes 
of 3 sovs. each p.p., with 20 added by the Town, free for all 
horses, was won by Mr. R. F. Johnson's ** Nancy Banks." 

The Hack Stakes of £1 each, with jQio added from the Racing 
Fund, for horses not thorough -bred, 2 miles, was won by Mr. 
Humble's "Black Heddon." 

The Town's Plate, for Ponies not exceeding 14 hands high, 
given by the Racing Fund, was won by Mr. Ogle's " Lady Mary." 

A Sweepstakes of £2 each, p.p., with jQio added by the Town, 
for horses that never won in Plate or Stake before the day of 
running, was won by Mr. Hudson's b g by •' Waverley." 

A Handicap of £1 each, with ;£io added from the Racing 
Fund, was won by Mr. M. Robson's " Ingo." 
. Mr. William N. Cowen was Clerk of the Course. The Races 
shortly after that date were discontinued at the Hall Garth. 
They were subsequently held on Barlow Fell, and the last races 
were run on May 23rd, 1854. 



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Returned to Church Street, you have on your right hand the 
old disused Pinfold and the Drill Hall. The Drill Hall is used by 
the " Tyne and Derwent Volunteers." This popular Volunteer 
Corps was formed in i860. The Volunteers appointed their 
officers in the Winlaton School, on March 5th, and on March 
31st, the Volunteers received their rifles. Mr. (afterwards Sir 
Joseph) Cowen, was the first captain. The first inspection of the 
corps was held in Stella Park, on July 22nd, 186 1. 

These Volunteers are now known" as the "Fifth Volunteer 
Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry." There are two companies 
at Winlaton, the I and K, 142 strong, under Captains T. W. 
Bagnall and J. W. Thompson. There is also a detachment ajt 
Blaydon, the H Company, 112 strong, under the command of 
Hon. Major William J. Douglas. The late John Anthony Cowen, 
Esq., of Blaydon Burn, became Colonel of the Volunteers on July 
5th, 1875, a position which he retained until his death. Winlaton 
Brass Band, which usually accompanies the Volunteers, is one of 
the oldest, if not the oldest country band in England. It was 
formed about the year 1801, and attended the Gibside Cavalry 
until the troop was disbanded. It always accompanied "Crowley's 
Crew " to political demonstrations at Newcastle and other places 
of meeting. Mr. Henry Mc.Pherson, who was buried May 2nd, 
i860, was connected with the band for 59 years, and for the greater 
part of the time was bandmaster. Altogether the Winlaton Band 
has an interesting history. 

Before arriving at the Church, "Amen Corner " is seen on the 
east side of Church-street. A lane leads from this spot to Park 
Gate; and just at the commencement of the road, on the east side, 
there is a blacksmith's shop, which was formerly a dwelling house 
and the residence of Thomas Hodgson, weaver, who was one of 
the speakers at the great political meeting, held on the Parade 
Ground, Newcastle, on October nth, 1819. Mr. Hodgson, shortly 
after this meeting, settled in Newcastle. He afterwards removed 
to Gateshead, where he died on the 2nd of November, 1827, aged 
48 years. 

At the east side of the Church is the house which the Rev. 
Mr. Kitchen used as a private school fifty years ago, and at which 
Mr. Joseph Cowen, Mr. John Anthony Cowen, Mr. William 
Cowen, Mr. Robert Laycock, Mr. Thomas Thompson, and other 



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gentlemen of the neighbourhood, received a share of their 
education. 

St. Paul's Church. 

The Church was consecrated on September 9th, 1828, by the 
Bishop of Durham. The building is in the Gothic style, by L 
Bonomi, Esq., and cost ,£2,500. It consists of nave, side aisles, 
chancel, and square western tower. The latter is embattled, and 
adorned with corner spires. The side aisles are each formed by 
three octagonal pillars, supporting obtusely- pointed arches, and a 
similar arch is over the chancel. There is a gallery at the west 
end of the church which contains the organ. The font is hand- 
somely sculptured. A fine painting of Christ taken down from 
the Cross, presented by Charles James Clavering, Esq., is placed 
against the north wall. The east window, which is large and 
handsome, is in five compartments, and filled with stained glass, 
representing our Saviour, the Evangelists, and other saints. In the 
south aisle, at the east end, there is a window of three lights, 
dedicated to St. Paul, and containing passages from his life, which 
bears the following inscription : — " To the honour and glory of 
God, in memory of Robert Belt, Esq., of Winlaton Cottage, who 
died December 3rd, 1855, aged 70 years. Jane, his wife, died 
8th February, 1840, aged 31 years. Sarah Belt, his sister, died 
February 28th, 1841, aged 66 years. Barbara Whitfield, his sister, 
died nth March, 1862, aged 89 years." 

A second window, dedicated to St. Mary, contains the following 
inscription : — "To the Glory of God and memory of Mary Wardeli, 
at rest on St. Andrew's Day, 1868." 

At the west end of the aisle is another, dedicated to John the 
Baptist, with the inscription: — "To the honour of God and 
memory of Philip Smith, O.B.; May 24th, 1837. Judith, his 
widow, O.B. ; April 23rd, 1840. Henry, their son, June 19th, 
1833. Also of Jane, wife of Philip Smith, jun., O.B. ; December 
10th, 1846. Philip, their son, O.B. ; September 19th, 1853; and 
of Philip, Judith, and Thomas Smith, grandchildren of the above 
Philip and Judith Smith, who died in childhood." 

In the north aisle, at the west end, is a window of three lights, 
with only one-half of the middle light stained. It is dedicated ta 



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St. Philip, and bears the inscription : — " Dedicated to the honour 
of God and the beautifying of His Church, by certain poor Brethren 
and Sisters in Christ. Blessed be ye poor." 

The second window represents Mary sitting at the feet of the 
Saviour, and bears the following : — " In affectionate remembrance 
of Mary, wife of George Heppel Ramsay, of Derwent Villa, Parish 
of Winlaton, County of Durham; died February ist, 1869, aged 73. 
Also of George Heppel, their youngest son, who died September 
14th, i860, aged 31." 

At the east end of the aisle, the window is dedicated to St. 
Barnabas, with the inscription : — "In memory of John Nixon, died 
August 22nd, 1839. In affectionate remembrance of Mary, relict 
of the late John Nixon of Barlow, died June 20th, 1869, aged 90 
years. Interred at Ryton. Also of Mary Louisa Bell, died June 
22nd, 1855, aged 32 ; and Jane Grey, who died March 30th, 
1863, a g e d 50 years ; daughters of the aforesaid John and Mary 
Nixon." 

The Church contains several tablets. One of white marble, on 
the south side of the chancel, bears the inscription : — " In a vault 
beneath are deposited the remains of Charles John Clavering, 
Esq., of the County of Northumberland. He successively and 
honourably sustained the important offices of High Sheriff of the 
Town of Newcastle-on-Tyne, and of the Counties of Northumber- 
land and Durham, and constable of the Castle of Durham. An 
affectionate husband, an indulgent master, a warm and steady 
friend, an upright and independent magistrate. Liberal, but 
unostentatious in his charities. His loss was deeply felt, and 
universally lamented. He died on the 20th day of June, 1888, 
aged 77, in the faith and hope of a true christian. This tablet 
was erected to his memory by his sorrowing widow, Diana 
Clavering." 

There is in the south aisle a marble tablet : — " To the memory 
of Robert Laycock, of Winlaton, who died August 18th, 1828, 
aged 65 years. Also Mary, his wife, who died January 21st, 
1854, aged 92 years." 

Another tablet bears the inscription : — " In loving memory of 
John Foster, of Winlaton, who died January 28th, 1873, aged 50 
years. Isabella Barbara, his wife, who died November 18th 
187 7, aged 40." 



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140 

On a tablet near the entrance is the following information : — 
"This Chapel was erected in the year 1828. It contains sittings 
for 800 persons. And in consequence of a grant from the Society 
for Promoting the Enlargement and Building of Churches and 
Chapels, 400 of that number are hereby declared to be free and 
unappropriated for ever. 

Charles Thorp, Rector, 

Henry Sanderson, I churchwardens> .. 

John Fenwick, I 

The tower contains six bells ; on the tenor is inscribed : — " This 
peal of five bells was presented to the Church of St. Paul by 
Robert Belt, Esq., Winiaton, Anno Dom., 1828;" and on the 
reverse : — " Charles Thorp, b.d., rector of Ryton ; Henry Wardell, 
m.a., John Reed, b.a., curates ; Robert Watson, Newcastle-on- 
Tyne, founder." 

At the time of the foundation of the parish, November 6th, 
1832, the Rev. John Reed, a.b., officiated as curate; the presenta- 
tion to the living was vested in the Bishop of Durham. The Rev. 
Henry Wardell was appointed in 1833, and remained rector of the 
parish until his death in 1884. 

The living is a rectory valued at ^275, and the Bishop of 
Chester is the patron. The gross annual value of the living was 
stated in 1835 at ^356, subject to permanent payments amounting 
to £9. 

The parsonage adjoins the churchyard on the south side, and is 
pleasantly situated. 

The Churchyard. 

The churchyard wall encloses an area of an acre and a half of 
ground, lying mostly on the north side. Alongside of the walk on 
the south side are the burial places of several of the old families of 
Winiaton. 

A granite tombstone marks the resting place of the Rev. Henry 
Wardell, bearing the inscription : — 

Mary, wife of the Rev. Henry Wardell, M.A., 

First Rector of this Parish, 

At Rest, 

St. Andrew's Day, 1868, 

Aged 64 years. 



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The above-named Henry Wardell, 

At Rest, 

October 3rd, 1884, 

Aged 84 years. 

Jesu Mercy. 

On the left of the late rector's stone, is the burial place of the 

Ramsay's of Derwent Villa. A vault-stone bears the following : — 

The family vault of George Heppel, 

and Mary Ramsay of Derwent Villa, 

Parish of Winlaton, County of Durham. 

In Memory of George Heppel Ramsay, 

Their youngest and beloved Son ; 

Who died September 14th, i860, aged 31 years. 

Mary, the beloved Wife of 

George Heppel Ramsay, 

Died February 1st, 1869, aged 73 years. 

The above George Heppel Ramsay, J. P. 

Departed this life, November 27th, 1879, aged 88 years. 

On a stone at the east end of the church is the following : — 

The family Vault 

of 

Joseph Cowen, 

Blaydon Burn House. 

Mary, Wife of Joseph Cowen, 

Born June 8th, 1795; died July 30th, 1851. 

Elizabeth, daughter of the above, 

Born 27th October, 1823; died 21st May, 1853, 

Edward, youngest son of the above, 

Died in Octago, New Zealand, 3rd June, 1867, 

Aged 31 Years. 

The above Joseph Cowen, Knight, M.R, 

Died at Stella Hall, 19th December, 1873, 

Aged 73 Years. 

William, Third Son of the above, 

Died at Capheaton, 14th March, 1875, 

Aged 42 Years. 

Mary Carr, Daughter of the above, 

Who died 4th December, 1891, 

Aged 69 Years. 



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A Cemetery on the west side of the church was consecrated by 
the Bishop of Durham, June 16th, 1879. 

Charles Clavering Wardell, better known in the dramatic pro- jjif 
fession as Charles Kelly, was born at Winlaton on January 4th, y 
1839, and was the son of the Rev, Henry Wardell, M.A., rector of •J* 
Winlaton, He became an officer in the English army, but quitted 
it for the theatrical profession. He made his first appearance at 
the Theatre Royal, Hull, in 1868, in the character of Montano in 
"Othello." In London he played at the Surrey, Holborn, Globe, 
Queen's, Royal, Court, St. James's, Adelphi, and Haymarket 
theatres in many parts. In October, 1873, at the Globe Theatre, 
Mr. Kelly sustained his " original " part of Richard Arkwright, in 
the drama of " Arkwright's Wife," by the late Tom Taylor, first 
performed at the Leeds Theatre Royal, his acting on this occasion 
being highly praised. Having previously appeared in Charles 
Reade's plays of "Rachel the Reaper" and "Griffith Gaunt" at - 
the Queen's Theatre in Long Acre in 1875, Mr. Kelly accepted 
an engagement at the Court Theatre under the management of 
Mr. Hare. On Saturday, March 13th of that year, Mr. Kelly 
appeared there as Lord Melton in an original comedy by Charles 
F. Coghlan, entitled "Lady Flora," in which he won high honours. 
In January, 1876, at the same theatre, in the first performance of 
"A Quiet Rubber" (C. F. Coghlan) adapted from the French 
"La Partie de Piquet," Mr. Kelly played Mr. Sullivan. In 
December of the same year, at the same theatre, in a revival of 
u New Men and Old Acres" (Tom Taylor and A. Dubourg), the 
part of Mr. Samuel Brown was sustained by Mr. Kelly. The 
revival of this play was very successful, and remained on the 
"bills" of the Court Theatre for 250 consecutive nights. At the 
same house Mr. Kelly appeared as Darnley in "The House of 
Darnley." At St. James's Theatre, in "Such is the Law," he 
gained further reputation by his careful acting of Tom Goacher. 
At the Adelphi Theatre, in 1878, he played for a time the part 
of Pierre Lorance, in "Proof." The same year, on Monday, 
December 2nd, at the Haymarket Theatre, in the first performance 
of ''The Crisis" (James Alberry), adapted from M. Emile Augier's 
"Les Fourchambault," Mr. Kelly presented in a remarkably able 
and finished way the character of John Goring. On April 14th, 
1879, at the same theatre, in an original comedy-drama in five acts, 



i l 



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M3 

itf 

// by W. G. Wills, entitled "Ellen; or Love's Cunning/' he played 
,/ the part of Thomas Pye with admirable earnestness. This 

character and that of Lady Breezy, (sustained by Miss Blanche 
Henri), and the excellent acting that was displayed in their 
presentation, probably suggested to Mr. Wills to reconstruct his 
play, and reproduce his "comedy " scenes under the title of 
"Boag," Mr. Kelly playing his "original" character. Mr. Kelly 
married Miss Ellen Terry, the celebrated actress. Miss Terry has 
visited Winlaton several times, on one occasion placing a wreath 
on the grave of the Rev. Henry Wardell, M.A., the father of her 
husband. Mr. Charles C. Wardell died on April 17 th, 1885. 



Hn 



i L 



•J* 
J! 

... ff- 



Park Head Hall. 

This fine modern mansion, which is the seat of John^Ramsay, 

Esq., was built in 1836, by the late George Heppel Ramsay, Esq., 

J. P. The house stands on the north side of the Derwent, and the 

w- 1 v j ew f rom th e front is one of striking beauty, possessing the charm 

J* - * of breadth and distance, a soft sweep of undulating country, with an 

.** occasional glimpse of the Derwent gleaming here and there out of 

its covert of crags and trees. The Hall is surrounded by a small 

Jf park, and the farm connected with the Hall comprises about 200 

acres of land. 

Mr. George Heppel Ramsay was the son of Thomas Ramsay 

and Mary Heppel. Mary Heppel was the daughter of George 

Heppel of Swalwell, who was connected with the ironworks of 

* Messrs. Crowley, Millington & Co. The Heppels came originally 

from Saxony, about the beginning of the 17th century, and were 

• ' • ? steel makers on the banks of the Derwent. On a plan of Winlaton, 

dated 1632, there is a forge on the east side of the present station 

-C 1 at Rowland's Gill. Tradition states that at this forge the Heppels 

manufactured their steel. They afterwards removed to Derwent 

^'^KDote, higher up the Derwent, with which forge the father of Mr. 

G. H. Ramsay was connected. Mr. G. H. Ramsay was born at 

Park Gate Farm, in the year 1790. In his tenth year he was sent 

♦to Tanfield, to be educated under the Rev. R. Simpson, vicar of 

Tanfield. As soon as his education was finished, he returned to 

Park Gate and learned farming. But his mind was not content 

'with farming alone, he therefore joined his grandfather in the 



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144 



Derwent Haugh brickworks, collieries, and ammonia works, and, 
under his direction, the works were vastly increased, to which were 
added coke-making, malt houses, manure works, and bone mills. 
Mr. Ramsay still devoted part of his time to farming, and it was on 
the Park Gate Farm, in 1859, that oxen were last used in the North 
of England for agricultural purposes. In 1853, Blaydon Main 
Colliery was sunk by Mr. Ramsay, which turned out to be an 
advantageous adventure. The ordinary coal obtained from this 
colliery was celebrated for the valuable coke it yielded, commanding 
the highest price in every market in the world. It is known as 
the " Ramsay Condensed Coke," and its chief markets are Spain, 
Russia, and Italy. In 1878, Mr. Ramsay was awarded ths Gold 
Medal at the Paris International Exhibition of Industries for the 
products of his mines and manufactures. In addition to the 
ordinary coal and fire-clay seams of Mr. Ramsay's Colliery, a 
valuable seam of cannel coal was deposited throughout a portion 
of his royalties. This coal is well-known for its high illuminating 
qualities and freedom from sulphur, and is extensively used in the 
lead-mining districts of Spain and other countries where silver is 
found co-mingled with other geological products. Mr. Ramsay 
was fond of field sports, and was a reputed shot in his earlier years, 
and even at the advanced age of 78, brought down his black game 
at eighty yards distance, in the presence of the Duke of Northum- 
berland and other sportsmen, the bird being preserved to this day 
at Kielder Castle. Mr. Ramsay was a Magistrate for the County 
of Durham. In every respect he was a fine specimen of the old 
English gentleman. He died on November 28th, 1879, at tne 
advanced age of 89 years, and was buried at Winlaton. Mr. G. R. 
Ramsay, the well-known colliery owner and brick manufacturer of 
Swalwell, is the son of the present owner of Park Head Hall. 

In 1875, a School Board was formed for the Township of 
Winlaton, comprising seven members, the first election taking 
place on April 21st. 

In 1875, a Local Board, which was formed at Blaydon in 1861, 
was extended to Winlaton. 

Formerly the boundaries of the Parish were perambulated, the 
last time being on October 22nd, 1850. "Riding the Boundaries" 
was an interesting event fifty years ago. The officials represented 
the lords of the manor, who were usually accompanied by the 



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Steward and the Bailiff. They assembled at Derwenthaugh, after 
which they advanced westward along the river side as far as 
Blaydon Burn foot, they next went southward via Blaydon Burn 
to Winlaton. Here they advanced westward, following the Burn 
as far as the road on the north side of the Spen ; after which they 
took a south-westerly direction past Bede Lodge to the Derwent, 
near to Lintz Ford. They then retraced their steps to Swalwell 
Bridge, which concluded the day's proceedings. The Bailiff 
w$ carried a small red flag, and preceded the company on horseback. 

The cavalcade was always accompanied by great numbers of the 
parishioners on foot, who took the liveliest interest in guarding the 
boundaries of the parish. A number of medals were generally 
distributed to the young people as a memento of the occasion. 
The medal struck in 1850 bore the following inscription : — 
"Winlaton Lordship, Durham. John Clayton, Esq., Steward. 
Boundaries Perambulated October 22nd, 1850. On the obverse 
side :— Charles Towneley, Esq. ; *Hon. H. T. Liddel t; W. B. 
Beaumont, Esq. ; John Bowes, Esq. ; Marquis of Bute ; Joseph 
Cowen, Esq., Lords of the Manor of Winlaton. " ^ . 

feu* uav u+tiuikcL *?tfa tut & £fcU <?rf& U^M*^^ 



11 



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WINLATON MILL. 



"Again the bordering woods, aroma'd fill 
With blending balms the chalice of the dews ; 
Charm laughs on charm, and hill sweet smiles on hill 
Till beauty bids us pause at old Winlaton Mill. " 

— Barras. 

Winlaton Mill is an old-fashioned little village seated on the 
north side of the Derwent, one mile and a quarter west of 
Swalwell Bridge, and a similar distance south of Winlaton. The 
most of the houses are old, and after being whitewashed, give to 
the village a picturesque appearance. Before the advent of Sir 
Ambrose Crowley, the hamlet was called Huntlayshaugh. 

In 1361, Agnes, widow of John Menevylle, held of Ralph Nevill, 
the hamlet of Huntlayshaugh, in Wyrilawton, by 2s. rent. The 
old public-house (Golden Lion) is still called Huntlay's Hall; the 
well at the east end of the village Huntlay's Well; and the 
burn, which runs down the wood on the north side, Huntlay's 
Burn, by the old people. 

Sir Ambrose Crowley after establishing his ironworks at Winlaton 
in 1690, extended them to Winlaton Mill in 1691. There is on 
a stone in the mill dam, on the west side of the village, the 
inscription "Sir Ambrose Crowley, Anno 16 — ." As Sir Ambrose 
was not knighted until the year 1706, the inscription must have 
been made after that date (1706), or Sir added to it. The 
inscription is formed on two stones, and the figures after 16 have 
been effaced from one of the stones. In the Universal Magazine for 
1782, there is an account of Crowley's ironworks, in which it is 
stated that the date on the mill dam was 1691 ; so that we may 



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conclude that the ironworks were commenced at that date, or 
immediately after. 

The Derwent, at the west side of Winlaton Mill, after passing 
through the viaduct at Lockhaugh, makes a circuit of about half 
a mile round the base of a steep and lofty bank, after which it 
flows southward. It was at this point that Crowley commenced 
operations for the making of the mill-race. A water-course was 
made on the west side of the stream to carry off the superfluous 
water ; and on the east side was formed the dam, through which 
passes the water required for the ironworks, the water not required 
falling over the "steps," and forming a junction with the water 
which disappears on the west side, continues its course eastward. 
The visitor to this romantic situation should follow the footpath 
from the dam to what is known as the " Scaur Head," and obtain 
a view of the country south and west of the "Scaur." The 
scenery is wild and romantic in the highest degree. Away in the 
distance, westward, rising above the surrounding woods is the 
column of " Liberty " at Gibside, while immediately before you is 
the Lockhaugh Viaduct, rising seventy feet above the Derwent 
On the north side of the river is an immense sweep of hill, rising 
one hundred and fifty feet above the water, and completely wooded; 
at the south side, on a steep and commanding position, are the 
ruins of Hollingside Manor House, formerly the seat of the giant 
race of Hardings. The mill-race pursues its course from the 
dam to the ironworks, after leaving which it empties itself into 
the Derwent. 

The ironworks of Crowley comprised rolling mills, slitting 
mill, file-cutting and chain shops. The mills, forge-hammers, 
and shears were kept in motion by nine water-wheels. Only one 
water-wheel now remains, which assists in propelling the machinery 
of the present rolling mills. The ironwork after being forged* 
was carted to Swalwell. After the ironworks had remained in the 
hands of Sir Ambrose Crowley, and Crowley, Millington & Co., 
for nearly one hundred and seventy years, on February 10th, 1863, 
the whole of the fixed stock, plant, rolling mill, houses, water- 
courses, &c, were bought by Messrs. Pow and Fawcus of North 
Shields, for the sum of ^780. But the factory did not flourish in 
their hands; and, fortunately for Winlaton Mill, Messrs. Raine took 
possession in 1885, and since that time the mills have been as 



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busy as ever they were in the palmy days of Crowley. Nearly 
everything about Winlaton Mill bears traces of old age. The 
walls around the factory; the bell, with the date 1791 ; the clock 
underneath the bell, with its brass face ornamented with angels at 
the corners, bearing the inscription, "Thomas Pare, Londini fecit," 
said by the oldest inhabitants to be as old as the mill itself ; the 
old houses and their primitive arrangements ; all strike the observer 
as belonging to a generation far remote from our day. 

Formerly the factory bell was used as a " Curfew," and was rung 
every night at eight o'clock, when the workmen were expected to 
retire for rest. This interesting custom, after existing for nearly 
two hundred years, was discontinued in April, i860. 

There is at the west side of the village and the north side of the 
mill-race, an old road which leads to the "Scaur" wood. In 1632, 
this was the only road which led through Winlaton Mill. After 
passing through the wood, it crossed the land on the north side, 
again passing through a wood which formerly filled the Shotley 
Bridge turnpike, and entered the " Birk-gate," the way to the 
Birks and Winlaton. This was the road taken by part of CromwelPs 
army with his artillery, after passing down Ciockburn Lane, and 
fording the Derwent After reaching Stella, the army forded the 
river Tyne, and proceeded to Dunbar, in 1650. Old men are still 
living who remember this road, but a considerable part has now 
been effaced from the topography of the neighbourhood. The 
Derwent is crossed by a bridge of primitive construction ; it is 
formed of one beam of timber, resting on stone pillars. The 
pillars were built by the well-known "Lang Jack," the Samson 
of the locality. Previous to the erection of the bridge, the Derwent 
was crossed on stepping-stones. On the west side of the middle 
pillar is the inscription, "John English, Mason, Anno 1842." On 
the south side of the bridge begins Ciockburn Lane. The burn 
here empties itself into the Derwent. Formerly there stood on the 
south side of the stream a flour mill, with a water-wheel propelled by 
the water which ran down Ciockburn Dene. The miller's house still 
stands on the west side of the bridge. The scenery on the north 
side of the village is uncommonly fine. The visitor will be amply 
repaid by stopping for a few minutes at a point near to the Spa 
Well, and looking up the Derwent towards Winlaton Mill. A 
prettier scene is not to be imagined. It is one deep mass of wood 



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and lawn, the woods having the appearance of dipping in the 
water, and this without a break until the water seems to lose itself 
in the forest. 

It is needless to say that every part of this charming neighbour- 
hood has been reproduced on canvas by the artist. Otters are 
sometimes captured in the Derwent ; bird-life is plentiful ; and the 
botanist will find the valley a successful hunting ground. 

On the west side of Winlaton Mill, and just where the Derwent 
makes a bend after passing through Lockhaugh Viaduct, there 
once stood a flour mill, which, according to tradition, belonged to 
Messrs. Sharp and Walker of Lumley. An old wall, said to belong 
to the mill, and the remains of the dam can still be seen. Walker 
had another mill at Lumley. Sharp and Walker were tried at 
Durham in the year 1631, for the murder of a young woman of the 
name of Anne Walker, a niece of John Walker, the owner of the 
mill. The young woman had gone to the house of her uncle to act 
as his housekeeper. She is described as a pleasing woman of 
twenty-five, and her appearance handsome. Unfortunately, after 
staying some time at her uncle's house, she found she was to become 
a mother. Anne disappeared, nobody knew where. It is said 
that the spirit of Anne appeared to John Grahame, miller, at 
Lumley, and revealed to him the circumstances of the murder. 
Her uncle had sent her away with Mark Sharp, who had to take 
her to some place where she was to be taken care of until her 
trouble was over. Sharp murdered her with a pick, making five 
wounds in her head, afterwards throwing her down a pit The 
ghost of Anne made known these circumstances to Grahame; the 
pit was examined and the body found. The evidence against 
Sharp and Walker must have been convincing, as they were after- 
wards executed at Durham in 1631-32. This murder created an 
immense sensation at that time in the County ot Durham. The 
appearance of Anne Walker's " ghost," no doubt, adding to the 
excitement The flour mill at Lockhaugh was worked until the 
middle of the last century, and retained the name of Sharp and 
Walker's Mill. 

From the following account of a robbery which appeared in the 
Newcastle Courant^ May 7th, 18 14, Winlaton Mill appears to have 
been a rather unsafe route for travellers to take on their way 
home : — ** Fifty Pounds Reward — Whereas last nigtit between the 



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hours of ten and eleven o'clock, as Mr. John March of Greenside, 
cattle dealer, was returning from Darlington Market, he was attacked 
by two men in the lane leading from Winlaton Mill to Winlaton, 
one of them middle-sized, the other stout made, who struck him 
with a bludgeon on the left arm and head, which unhorsed him, 
and after receiving several bruises, was robbed of ^340, principally 
£$ Darlington and Durham Bank Notes. A reward of ^30 is 
hereby offered by the Stella and Winlaton Association for the 
Prosecution of Felons ; also a further reward of ^20 by the said 
Mr. John March, to any person or persons giving such information 
as may lead to the conviction of the offender or offenders. Stella, 
April 27th, 1814." 

Formerly, the men of Winlaton Mill had a strong propensity for 
poaching. In the time of Sir Ambrose Crowley, bitter complaints 
were made to him by the surrounding landowners about his work- 
men capturing salmon, and after his time; many sanguinary conflicts 
have taken place between "Crowley's Crew" and the gamekeepers 
in the preserves of Gibside and Chopwell. Cock-fighting was 
carried on to a great extent on the *' Scaur Head," especially at 
Easter time, when " Crowdy Mains " were fought by " Hamey " 
cocks. It is said the ironworkers were not very particular about 
the way they secured the cocks; after being killed, they were 
eaten at a supper the same day, at one of the public-houses in 
the village. 

The Primitive Methodists have a neat chapel, which stands on 
the side of the Shotley Bridge turnpike, erected in 1870, and 
capable of seating 150. 

A delightful walk for about two miles brings the visitor to 
Rowland's Gill Station. 



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BLAYDON BURN. 



" In summer time maw heart dis yorn 
Te hev a range throo Blaydon Burn ; 
Thy rocky banks, se jagged and torn, 
Aw'm fond o' climbing Blaydon Burn." 

— Horsley. 

The Burn commences at the north side of Coalburn's farm, and 
runs down between the hills on the north side of Barlow, keeping 
a westerly course until it reaches the north side of Winlaton, where 
the stream makes a bend and takes a northward direction through 
a deep valley a mile and a quarter long, when it empties itself 
into the Tyne at Blaydon. In a plan of the Winlaton lordship 
dated 1632, the burn for halfway down the valley is named Winlaton, 
in the other half of its course it is called Blaydon. At the present 
time the stream in the whole of its course down the valley has 
Blaydon applied to it. About a quarter of a mile before the 
Burn enters the valley, it is known as the Brockwell, from the 
Saxon word Brock = a badger, and welly which sometimes means a 
stream as well as a spring of water. 

The following entry in the Ryton parish register shows that for- 
merly the "brocke" was taken in the parish : — " 1667. — Chopwell, 
thirty-six foxes heads and one brocke head." The Brockwell has -f* 
undoubtedly taken its name from the circumstance of brocks, or 
badgers, frequenting the burn at that part. At the head of the 
burn is Blaydon Burn House, the residence of the late John A. 
Cowen, Esq., one of the best known men in the North of England. 
The late Sir Joseph Cowen made this mansion his residence after 
he entered into the brick making business at Blaydon Burn. After 

*& UJMOJL - c^ ^ g^^ ^u^r frwtfos ' 



153 

his removal to Stella Hall, his son, Colonel Cowen, became the 
occupant of the hall. It was here that Mr. Joseph Cowen of 
Stella Hall, was born. The house has been considerably enlarged 
since it became the property of the Cowen family, and now it is 
one of the best in the neighbourhood. It is surrounded by a small 
but beautiful park, which is entered by a drive from the north side. 
Mr. Cowen was a Justice of the Peace for the County of Durham, 
also Colonel of the Tyne and Derwent Rifle Volunteers, Chairman 
of the Blaydon Local Board, and Master of the Braes of Derwent 
Foxhounds. This pack of hounds is one of the oldest in England. 
Nearly sixty years ago, they were known as the Prudhoe and 
Derwent Foxhounds, but in 1841 they were taken to the kennels 
at Coalburns, when Mr. Thomas Ramsay became master of the 
hounds. Afterwards the pack was sent back to Prudhoe. Again 
it was brought to Coalburns, when Mr. William Cowen was 
appointed master, a position he held until his death in 1875. At 
that time Mr. John A. Cowen became master of the hounds and 
removed them to Blaydon Burn. Mr. Cowen remained master 
until his death on April 14th, 1895. He was buried in the family 
vault at Winlaton. His funeral — which was a military one — was 
the largest ever known in the village. 

At the top of Blaydon Burn are Messrs. Joseph Cowen & Co.'s 
brickworks, where are also made their celebrated retorts. These 
brickworks were established about the year 1730. Seventy years 
before that date, fireclay was worked at Blaydon Burn, and 
manufactured into bricks at Paridise, on the north side of the 
Tyne. The clay manufactured at present at the Burn makes about 
six million bricks a year. The major portion of the trade of 
the firm is foreign and colonial. At the west side of the brick- 
works are the remains of a flour mill, which formerly belonged 
to Mr. Anthony Foster. According to the plan of Winlaton, 
1632, a Foster had a mill there at that time, so that for 2co 
years there have been millers in the family. Adjoining the 
mill there once stood a forge, which belonged to Mr. Clark Foster, 
but all traces have disappeared. On the south side of the brick- 
works stands Messrs. Belt and Whitfield's disused corn-mill. The 
water-wheel still rests on the east side of the building. Messrs. 
Cowen have lately erected, a little eastward of Belt's mill, substantial 
screens. Underground communication has been made between 



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the Lily Drift at Rowland's Gill and Blaydon Burn, so that the 
coals are now brought to the staiths at Stella. This part of Blaydon 
Burn is a hive of industry, but we are not sure whether Mr. Ruskin 
would not deplore the changes that have been made in this pretty 
valley. Proceeding down the Burn, with steep banks on either 
side, the visitor sees a chimney emerging from the trees on the east 
side. This is the only remaining part of what was known as 
Robinson's Flour Mill. It was sometimes called Shipping's Mill, 
from a man named Shipping, who was the miller. After passing a 
small pit belonging to Messrs. Joseph Cowen & Co., the remains 
of Wintrip's Flint Mill are seen standing on the left of the waggon- 
way. The mill-race is now filled up, and the arms of the water-wheel 
are at rest. The miller's house is still standing, and along with the 
rich and varied scenery which surrounds it, forms one of the delight- 
ful spots on the burn. The ruins of Fenwick's Flour Mill are next 
seen on the burn side. The mill was used last by Messrs. Bagnall 
as a file-cutting establishment. Hobby's dam is soon reached,, 
which forms a sheet of water both broad and deep. The burn, 
after winding round the bank on the south side, appears again 
emerging from the clumps of brushwood and trees on either side, 
and presents a pretty scene. All around, the banks are clothed 
with t trees, and in summer are studded with a rich profusion of 
flowers, which makes the spot extremely attractive. No one is 
able to tell who the Hobby was whose name is connected with the 
dam. On a plan of Blaydon Burn, dated 1775, the mill on the 
north side belonged to a person whose name was Hoplyh. The 
dam at that time would be Hoplyh's, and Hobby's is evidently a 
corruption of Hoplyh. On September 8th, 1869, Robert Foster 
of Winlaton, nailmaker, committed suicide by drowning himself in 
the dam; and on May 10th, 1875, Robert Prudhoe, nailmaker,. 
also committed suicide by drowning himself in the same place. 
The remains of a waggon-way may be seen on the east side of the 
dam, by which coals were brought from Barlow to Stella staiths. 
A little further down the burn is another flour mill. This mill, in 
1775, was called Hoplyh's Mill. Thirty years ago it was called 
Burn's Mill, on account of William Burn, who occupied the 
adjoining farm, using the mill to grind his corn. At present it is 
worked by Mr. Edward Gibson, and is known as Gibson's MilL 
The water-wheel is confined within the walls of the mill This 



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is the only one among all the mills standing on the burn that 
has not fallen into disuse. A pleasant walk down a footpath with 
delightful scenery on the east side, brings you to another mill, which 
was formerly used by Messrs. Joseph Cowen & Co. for grinding 
clay. The water-wheel is hidden by a picturesque little cottage 
standing by the side of the path; the wheel is silent, and only the 
murmuring of the stream is heard as it proceeds in its course down 
the valley. A few minutes' walk brings the visitor to Massey's 
Forge, which are in ruins. The water passed from the dam 
through large pipes on to the wheel, by which it was set in motion. 
The building was afterwards used as a foundry by Messrs. Smith, 
Patterson & Co. of Blaydon. On the north side of the old forge is 
the Milner Pit. The Hodge, or Cannel Seam, is being wrought at 
this pit, and is 3 feet 2 inches, including 22 inches of cannel coal, 
the depth being 14 fathoms. Another mill, known as Haggerston's 
Mill, stood below the site of the old forge in 1775, but all traces of 
it are gone. At the bottom of the burn stand the brickworks, 
No. 2, of Messrs. Joseph Cowen & Co. 



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THORNLEY. 

After leaving Winlaton by Scotland Head at the west end, and 
proceeding southward for about half a mile, the pedestrian reaches 
Snooks Hill farm. In the "survey" of 1632, this house and land are 
described as belonging to one Snurke. Snooks is really a 
corruption of Snurke, the name of the man who two hundred 
years ago farmed the land. The land was subsequently occupied 
for two or three generations by members of the Hancock family, 
a branch of the Hancocks of Friarside. At this farm, a road 
known as the Birkgate, leads to Winlaton Mill; and another 
road, a little lower down than the farm, branches to Thornley. 

Thornley is described by Surtees as a single tenement to the 
west of Winlaton, nearly opposite to Gibside. In 1361, Agnes, 
widow of John Menevylle of Hardon, held the manor of Thorneily, 
in Wynlaton, of Ralph Neville, by 40s. rent. In 1368, Thornley 
is mentioned in the inquisition on the death of Ralph de 
Nevill, and it probably rested in the family till the sale of Win- 
laton in 1559. Thornley was the seat of a branch of the Tempests 
from 1565 to 1709. By fine, 8th August, 12 car. 1636, William 
Tempest acquired from Sir William Selby, Knt., and Elizabeth 
and William Selby, half of a messuage, toft, and garden, two 
hundred acres of meadow, as many of pasture, a hundred acres of 
arable land, and as much of moor and whin in Thornley, in the 
parish of Ryton. 

On the 4th December, 1636 — the year in which William Tempest 
obtained from the Selbys the lands in Thornley — William, son 
of Sir William Selby, was killed in a duel by John Trollop of 
Thornley. 

The land is now owned by the Marquis of Bute. 

The district extends from the Birk-gate to The Spen, and from 



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the north side of Barlow to the Derwent, and is exclusively agri- 
cultural. It comprises High and Low Thornley ; High Thornley 
lying westward, and Low Thornley eastward. At Low Thornley 
there are two farm houses ; one of them evidently has not been 
built for a farm, but has been quite a superior mansion. It is of 
two storeys, and so old that the front of the house is considerably 
out of plumb. At the east side there has been an arched doorway 
about ten feet high, which is now built up. There is evidence of 
several alterations having been made to the house, at different 
dates. As this house is only a mile from Winlaton, and the 
Tempests of Thornley are nearly always described as of Winlaton — 
for instance : "Dec. 26th, 1613. Mary, daughter to Mr. William 
Tempest of Winlawton [bur.]" this house in all probability was 
the seat of the Tempest family at Thornley. The farm on the 
south side of the turnpike is modern. 

About half a mile west of Low Thornley farms, there is a 
secluded glen known as Lily Crook. Fifty years ago there were 
two coal-pits at this romantic spot, one of which was known as the 
Lily Crook Pit, which belonged to the Garesfield Company, the 
other was worked by Mr. Daniel Elliot, and used for Land sale. 
Both these pits have been abandoned ; and now there is nothing 
to disturb the silence which prevails from one end of Thornley to 
the other, except the noise of the waggons as they run down the 
High Thornley waggon-way to Derwenthaugh. 

A pleasant road leads from Low to High Thornley, which com- 
prises about a dozen houses. On the west side of the waggon- 
way, in a most delightful situation, stands Thornley House, the 
residence of Mr. Thomas Bag nail, formerly of Winlaton. At the 
top of the bank there is a large house, now falling into a state of 
decay, but which still bears traces of former grandeur. At one 
time the agents of the Marquis of Bute lived here ; but at present 
it is let to several tenants. A footpath leads from High Thornley 
for about half a mile to the Shotley Bridge turnpike, from which 
there is a commanding view of Gibside and its picturesque sur- 
roundings. 

On the west side of Winlaton, and the north of the church, 
there is a turnpike leading to the villages of Barlow and Spen. 
Not far from the entrance to the road are the Winlaton Board 
Schools, built in 1877, after designs by Mr. John C. Nicholson of 



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Blaydon. The schools comprise boys', girls', and infants' depart- 
ments, having in ail accommodation for 500. The cost of the 
schools was ^5,000. 

Half a mile from Winlaton there is a place called The Nobbys, 
or Nobbies, where there is a large stone quarry. Previous to the 
erection of Winlaton church, the people of Winlaton Mill were 
compelled to travel to Ryton church. They ieit Winlaton Mill by 
the Birk-gate, and walked to Snooks Hill farm, when a road on 
the south side of the farm house led to The Nobbys, down to 
Blaydon Burn, and met the old Hexham turnpike. At The 
Nobbys, the road crossed the Barlow turnpike, and made four 
lane ends. Tradition says that in the corner of the present field, 
at the north side of the turnpike, a man who committed suicide 
was buried, and a stake driven through his body. This tradition 
is supported by the fact that formerly every pedestrian who passed 
the spot threw three stones on the grave ; and old people are still 
living who have seen the stake or stob which marked his place of 
burial. Formerly a fdo de se, or one who committed a felony by 
laying violent hands upon himself, was denied Christian burial, 
and usually buried at midnight, at a place where four roads 
met In the township of Cornforth, in Durham, there is a place 
called Stobcross, which derives its name from being the burial 
place of a man who committed suicide. The fixing of the body 
by a stake or stob was thought to get rid of corpse and ghost 
together. Stones were thrown on the grave as a token of abhor- 
rence, common to most nations. The burial place of the suicide 
at The Nobbys has always been called "Selby's grave;" but who 
Selby was is uncertain. Sykes gives the following account of a 
suicide at Winlaton in 1660. He says : "It is related that in the 
spring of this year, an unknown gentleman came to reside at 
Winlaton, near Newcastle, living very privately, and daily more 
and more inquisitive after news and every circumstance of the 
Restoration. Upon understanding the passing of the act of 
indemnity, together with the exception of the murderers of King 
Charles I., he went into an adjoining wood and hanged himself." 
Tradition mentions "Lands Wood," on the south side of Winlaton, 
as that in which the "unknown gentleman" hanged himself. Not 
only does Sykes mention the fact of the suicide's name being 
unknown, but unfortunately the Ryton register is silent in regard 



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to the event ; so that we have nothing more than tradition affirming 
that the name of the suicide was Selby. 

Advancing westward, in half an hour the visitor reaches 



BARLOW. 

Barlow, Barley, from bare, and ley = ground lying uncultivated, 
lea land meant the land lying idle. This little village or 
hamlet lies one and a quarter miles west of Winlaton, and is 
composed chiefly of workmen's houses. There are also several 
farms in the neighbourhood. In the year 1632, a great part of 
the land lying south of the present village was known as Gair's 
Field. A " field " was originally so called, as being a piece of 
land on which the trees had been felled, and it is spelled feld 
in old authors, and opposed to woods or uncleared land. 

Garesfield Colliery, which stood on the south side of Barlow Fell, 
was commenced in the year 1800, by the Marquis of Bute and 
Mrs. Simpson of Bradley. The depth of the shaft was 25 fathoms, 
and there was a day-level at the eastern part of the workings. 
Two other pits stood on the north side of the "Garesfield " pit on 
the "fell," all of which were abandoned on the opening of the 
Spen (Garesfield) Colliery in 1837. The coals were led in waggons 
to Derwenthaugh. 

Barlow Fell, Blaydon Green, Beda Hills, and the other waste 
lands in the manor or township of Winlaton, were divided and 
enclosed in pursuance of an Act of Parliament passed in 1823, 
Thomas Bell of Newcastle being the sole commissioner employed, 
who made his award of the division, June 29th, 1829. The lands 
divided, exclusive of that portion allotted for roads, quarries, wells, 
watering-places, &c, were declared by this award to contain 
394 acres, 1 rood, 13 perches; of which 3 roods 26 perches was 
allotted to the rector of Ryton for a churchyard or cemetery, for 
the use of the township of Winlaton. Winlaton church was built 
on that part of the "fell" allotted to the rector of Ryton. 
Formerly the sports connected with Winlaton Hoppin — which 
included cock-fighting, bull-baiting, and horse-racing — were held 
on Barlow Fell. Horse-racing was last held there in 1854. 



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The workmen living at Barlow to-day are chiefly employed at 
the Lily Drift and the Spen Colliery. 

The " Fell " was also frequented by the " boxing " fraternity of 
the neighbourhood. On 25th October, 1824, a pitched battle was 
fought by James Wallace and Thomas Dunn, for ^40, when 
Wallace was the victor. 

On the north side of the village stands the Methodist Free 
Church, rebuilt in 1870. Early in the history of Methodism, 
John Wesley had a good number of followers in this wild and 
uninviting district. Christopher Hopper, who was both school- 
master and local preacher, tells us of some of the difficulties he 
experienced in prosecuting his work at Barlow one hundred and 
sixty years ago. He says : — " In the year 1 744, I taught a school 
at Barlow, in the parish of Ryton. My time was employed six 
days in teaching the children under my care the branches of 
learning I professed, and the first principles of Christianity. But T;* 

Satan did not like this work ; therefore he stirred up the rector of 4 * 

Ryton and his curate, with those under their influence, to prevent 
me. They gave first hard words, and then hard blows. In a 
little time I was summoned to appear in the Spiritual Court at 
Durham, to answer for my conduct. I did not know what I had 
done ; but was soon informed that I was impeached for teaching 
a school without a licence ; and what was still worse, for calling 
sinners to repentance, and warning the wicked to flee from the 
wrath to come — an offence that cannot be overlooked by men who 
know not God ! But God raised me up friends, who stood by me, 
and defended my cause against all my adversaries. " Notwith- 
standing the assistance which Christopher Hopper received from .* 
several of the farmers in the neighbourhood, his labours did not 
secure the success they deserved, and in 1746 he removed from 
Barlow to Sheephill, on Derwentside. 

+ John Nixon of Barlow was a devoted member of the Methodist 
society. He frequently entertained John Wesley, and opened his 
house for religious services. His daughter, Miss Nixon, was united 
in marriage with a member of the Stephenson family of Throckley. j 

The eldest son of the marriage was Alderman William E. J 

Stephenson of Throckley House, and a grandson, Alderman 
William Haswell Stephenson, is now (1895) for the third time. 
Mayor of Newcastle. . gfa Suu, ^tlx VlSh& t^J^V^w.** > 




'OfOULL UMrtA, O. J4K7K4WW ^Milji. &$ * 







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THE SPEN (High.) 






i 



This village, which is three miles distant from Winlaton, is 
inhabited almost exclusively by the workmen of the colliery. 

In the year 1370, Katherine, widow of Hugh de Fery, held four 
messuages and a hundred acres in Berley and Spen, of John de 
Nevill, Knt., by 3s.«rent, and suit at the Manor Court of Winlaton. 
The Spen is included in the general alienation from Nevill in 1569. 
William Shafto, gent, who died in 1631, held lands here; and 
James Wild, who lived at the Spen about the same time as Shafto, 
and married a lady of the name of Barloe, also possessed lands, 
but afterwards sold them to William Tempest of Thornley. 

The locality has been extensively worked for coal, which in the 
early period of the coal trade was carried by wains down the 
" Smeales Lane " to Derwenthaugh. The present colliery (known 
as Garesfield) was opened in 1838. At the depth of 30 fathoms 
the Brock well seam is wqrked. About 200 men and boys are 
employed. The workmen live in houses formed of streets, and are 
known as East Street, West Street, Glossop Street, Cardiff Square, 
and Howard Terrace. One of the streets is known as the 
"Jawblades" cottages, from two jawblades of a whale which at 
one time formed a gateway near the cottages. 

On the north side of the colliery, and separated by a field used 
as a 4< Recreation ground," are a number of streets, known as 
" Ramsay's cottages," which are modern erections for the use of the 
miners. At the west end of East Street the Primitive Methodists 
have a handsome chapel, erected in 1884, upon their removal from 
an older building erected in 1867. 

On December 17th, 1865, Matthew Atkinson murdered his wife 
Ellen, at The Spen, for which he was afterwards executed at 
Durham. 

On the south side of the village are the commodious Board 
Schools, opened in 1894,. to supply a lack of accommodation in 
the old Primitive Methodist Chapel, in which the school was held. 

12 



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THE SPEN (Low). 



This little hamlet lies about half-a-mile south of Hi§h Spen. It 
consists of a farm house and a number of cottages. In the spring 
of 1743, John Brown, a plain farmer, removed fromTanfield Leigh 
to the above-mentioned farm house, and invited John Wesley to 
his house. Christopher Hopper, in referring to this time, and 
having in his mind John Brown's house at the Low Spen, says : — 
44 1 then heard occasionally those preachers who I thought could 
tell their story well, without stammering ; but still found much 
fault with this strange method of proceeding." " The Sabbath-day 
following," he says: — "Mr. Reeves (one of the earliest of the 
Methodist local preachers) preached at the Low Spen at one 
o'clock in the afternoon, and in the evening again, on these words : 
4 And now abideth faith, hope, and charity, these three; but the 
greatest of these is charity.'" He further says : — ** My mouth was 
stopped. I stood guilty before God. He discovered to me the 
blessed plan of man's redemption through the blood of a crucified 
Saviour." And thus commenced, in the house of John Brown, the 
religious life of Christopher Hopper, one of the most remarkable 
men in Methodist history. Soon after, John Wesley visited Low 
Spen, formed a little society there, and made Christopher Hopper 
a leader. The society held their religious services in John Brown's 
house, and under his roof the preachers, often weather-beaten and 
weary, received a welcome and found a home. For sixty-four years 
John Brown continued a devoted member of the Methodist society. 
St. Patrick's Church stands about half-a-mile south of High Spen, 
and on the east side of Huger-gale. It is built of red bricks, and 
covered with red tiles ; internally, the arrangements are neat and 
unpretending, and capable of seating 200 people. A grave-yard 
surrounds the edifice. The church was built in 1889, and cost 
about ^500. Huger-gate leads from Beda Lodge to the Lintz 
Green Station. A branch road near the church enters Smailes* 
Lane, which terminates near to Rowlands Gill Station. 



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It was at the bottom of Smailes' Lane, after crossing the Shotley 
Bridge turnpike, that Mr. Robert Stirling, assistant to Dr. Watson 
of Burnopfield, was murdered on the ist of November, 1855. He 
had been little more than a week in the service of Mr. Watson, 
and was returning from visiting the patients of that gentleman, 
when he was shot by s&me persons lurking near the road, his 
throat cut, and his head and face frightfully injured, apparently by 
the butt end of a gun. His watch, money, and lancets were taken 
from his pockets, and the body was dragged through a fence and 
deposited among the bushes in a plantation which covered a steep 
declivity, where it was not discovered till about a week afterwards. 
A considerable sensation was excited throughout the county by this 
atrocious deed, and large rewards were offered for the discovery of 
the perpetrators. Two men, named John Cain, the proprietor of 
an illicit still in the neighbourhood, and Richard Rayne, a black- 
smith at Winlaton, were apprehended on suspicion, and brought 
up at the Durham Spring Assizes in 1856, but the evidence not 
being complete, they were remanded to the Summer Assizes in 
July of that year. After a prolonged trial, in which a variety of 
circumstantial evidence was adduced on behalf of the prosecution, 
a verdict of Not Guilty was returned. 

Rowland Gill derives its name from Robert Rowland, who 
possessed lands there in 162 1, and Gill, a north-country word for 
rivulet. 

About a quarter of a mile eastward of Rowlands Gill Station is 
the Lily Drift, belonging to Messrs. Joseph Cowen & Co. The 
workmen live in a row of houses at the west side, at the end of 
which there is a neat Primitive Methodist Chapel, erected in 1883, 
and capable of seating 200. The .coals are now drawn by an 
endless rope to the screens at Blaydon Burn, after which they are 
sent to Blaydon and conveyed by wherries to their destination. 



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CHOPWELL TOWNSHIP. 



This township comprises an extensive district, lying immediately 
west of the High Spen and Low Spen, and stretching to Milk- 
well Burn. It also extends from the Derwent on the south to 
the Leadgate on the north, and contains about 3,850 acres. Popula- 
tion in 180 1, 348 ; 1811,291; 1821,237; 1831,254; 1841,320; 
1851,458; 1861, 563; 1871, 788; 1881, 1,614; 1891, 2,193. 
Rateable value — In 1821, ^2,120 ; and in 1893, ^9,323. 

Chop well, eleven miles W.S.W. from Newcastle, anciently 
comprised the south-western angle of the parish of Ryton, but 
the estate has now been divided into several distinct portions. 

Bishop Hugh gave Chopwell to Newminster Abbey, in exchange 
for Wolsingham. Surtees conjectures that the Swinburns, who 
were already tenants of Chopwell under the Abbey, obtained at 
the dissolution the fee-simple of the Crown or its grantees. In 
1562, John Swinburne, Esq., was litigating his boundaries betwixt 
the manors of Ryton and Chopwell, with Pilkington, Bishop of 
Durham. In 1569, he was deeply engaged in the great northern 
rebellion, fled under attainder to Fernicherst in Scotland, escaped 
from thence into Flanders, was afterwards a pensioner at Madrid, 
and probably died in exile. The manor of Chopwell, thus vested 
in the Crown, was granted by the Queen to Sir Robert Constable, 
of Flamborough, in recompense of his services as a spy and 
informer. Sir William Constable, son and heir of Sir Robert, sold 
the manor of Chopwell to Anthony Archer; and he immediately 
conveyed to Ambrose Dudley, alderman of Newcastle, who, son 
and heir, Toby Dudley, Esq., left an only daughter, Jane Dudley, 
wife of Robert Clavering, a younger brother of the first Sir James 



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Clavering, of AxwelL The male issue of Clavering failed in his 
grandchildren, and Sarah, the sister and eventual heir of John 
and Dudley Clavering, became the wife of the Lord Chancellor, 
William, Earl Cowper. Earl Cowper sold Chopwell Hall, Horsegate, 
and Broomfield House to Dr. Thorp, rector of Ryton, and to his 
son, Robert Thorp, of Alnwick, Esq. West Chopwell and 
Greenhead were purchased by Mr. John Taylor, of Swalwell ; 
Leadgate and Ravenside, by Anthony Surtees of Hamsterley, Esq.; 
and other portions by William Surtees, Esq., Mr. Miller, and Mr. 
Robert Waugh. The mines of coal were reserved by Earl Cowper. 

In the reign of James I., John Lyons of Bradley, Esq., receiver 
of the revenues, being a defaulter to the Crown, an extent was 
issued against his estate in Chopwell, "the East Wood, Moor 
Close, Deane, and the Carres." When Chopwell was granted to 
Sir Robert Constable, this portion, which is of considerable extent, 
was reserved. The present landowners are J. C. F. Cookson, 
Esq., William Tudor Thorp, Esq., Miss Surtees, Mrs. Liddle, 
Consett Iron Company, and the Commissioners of Woods and 
Forests. 

After leaving Rowlands Gill Station, on the Consett branch of 
the North-Eastern Railway, and advancing westward for about a 
mile, Chopwell Woods are reached. These woods are what remain 
of the ancient forest which extended from Axwell Park to 
Allenheads. About a mile north-west of Rowlands Gill is Victoria 
Garesfield, a modern colliery village, surrounded by woods and 
charming scenery. Large quantities of coke are also produced 
there by Messrs. Priestman. The seams of coal worked are the 
Brockwell and Three-Quarter. A pleasant walk of a mile-and-a-half 
on the Shotley Bridge turnpike, through the forest, brings the 
visitor to Lintz Ford. A road branching northward, known as 
Huger Gate, leads to Bede Lodge and the Spen. Half a mile 
southward is the Lintz Green Station. Branching off the Shotley 
Bridge turnpike, past the houses occupied by the workmen at Lintz 
Ford Paper Mills, you are in the heart of the forest. The scenery 
is of a quiet and gentle character. The Derwent flows through 
the woods on the south side, and occasionally the banks of the 
channel rise precipitously, which darken the otherwise crystal 
waters. Walking in a north-westerly direction for a mile and a half, 
the Tongue Burn is reached before it meets the Derwent. Along- 



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side of the burn stands the Carr farm, which in the time of 
James I. formed that part of the Chopwell estate known as " The 
Carrs." Advancing northward about a mile through the forest, you 
reach Heavy Gate and Horse Gate, two old roads which, in the 
17 th century, were used as "^always" to Stella. At the west side 
of Horsegate is Horsegate farm, which is an old building with a 
nailed to every door. If the existence of horse-shoes 
the doors of farms and cottages in this thinly-populated 
evidence of the belief in witchcraft, that belief must 
liled extensively in former times, as nearly every door 
s guarded by a horse-shoe. A pleasant walk from 
>e, through the woods, brings you to Chopwell Church, 
small edifice standing on the north side of the road, 
lopwell Hall. The church was erected in 1843. ^ n 
side is Chopwell Hall, which is to-day what it always has 
arge farm-house. On the west side of Chopwell Hall 
ill Wood farm, and in the distance westward are the 
i, Greenhead, and Ashtree farms. Chopwell Mill, which 
of Chopwell Wood farm, is an old-fashioned building ; 
the water mill has disappeared, and only the mill-race, on the west 
side of the farm, is now to be seen. Westward from the " Mill " 
is Newhouse farm, near to Milkwell Burn, the birthplace of Joseph 
Bulman, a well-known local poet. 
(^Joseph Bulman, son of Thomas Bulman, was born June nth, 
1833. His father was farm bailiff for R. Surtees, Esq., and also 
rented Newhouse farm under the same gentleman for a great 
number of years. He had a family of ten children, of whom 
Joseph was the youngest, and who, in early life, exhibited signs of 
a delicate constitution, and not being likely to obtain his livelihood 
by hard work, was put to school until he became a very good 
scholar, and was very expert in land surveying, in which employ- 
ment he had a good deal of practice in assisting his father on Mr. 
Surtees' estates. On March 5th, 1852, he obtained a situation on 
the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, at Hexham station, After 
spending a few years at Hexham, he was removed, by the wish of 
the directors, to the audit office at Newcastle, and subsequently 
from that to the manager's office, and was entrusted with the 
collection of the Company's accounts, a situation of some trust. 
At length he had an offer of a situation in the Union Bank at 

uMf J2£UM~ SUtyL J***>± (Ufonfri4rt& Ku, &w»un. 



167 

Newcastle, and from thence to their office at Sunderland, to which 
place he removed. About this time his health began to give way, 
and no sooner had he removed to Sunderland, than evident 
symptoms of a disease set in which compelled him to give up his 
situation at the bank. He removed to Ryton for a suitable 
residence, as he thought, where he began to sink fast under the 
unmitigated effects of consumption, and died on 5th April, r°*~ 
H is poe ms were published in 1861. Several of them were 
duced while following his regular duties, and others were 
written during his illness, and finished while he had very 
strength. 

His poem, "On Passing Newhouse," his birthplace, 
charming description of the old homestead : — 

Once more I climb the old oak stile, 

And tread the grassy green, 
Where first the gazing sun on me 

Did cast his radiant beam. 
I pass the well-remembered cot, 

My first, bright sunny home, 
Where life's rough tempest harm'd me not, 

Nor care could near me come ; 
Where all was innocence, joy, and mirth : 
The dearest, choicest spot on earth 

Yonder stands the Scotch fir clump, 

Beneath whose ample shade 
Old Nanny's lambs did racing jump, 

And judding, gambolling, play'd. 
The old pit-hole with rashes grown ; 

The well so cooling, clear ; 
The hurdle gate and grassy lawn, 

Yes, all these yet are here : 
To each some story does belong, 
Of deeds performed in days byegone. 

There is at Newhouse a commanding view of the country south 
of the Derwent, which Bulman describes in picturesque language : — 

The eye can wander far from here, 

Can view the stretching plain, 
The pretty hamlets far and near, 

And fields of waving grain. 



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Wild Derwenfs waters, shining bright, 

Like glittering silver lies ; 
While Pontop's tree-capp'd towering height 

Seems propping up the skies : 
Frowning at its neighbour still, 
The sunny, airy, Ash-tree hill. 

The following verse has reference to Chopwell woods : — 

O how I love that wild, wild wood, 

It's shaggy, briary glens : 
It's nut-bush hills, where secret brood, 

The robins, tits, and wrens. 
Where woodcock, wild duck, and heron, 

Haunt the lonely dells ; 
Adown yon holly banks whereon 

The blackbird's music swells, 
Where songbirds make the welkin ring, 
And squirrels high, so fearless spring. 

Bulman's poems, "On Leaving Milk well Burn, " and "Sighing 
of the Breezes," are worthy of high praise. They were published 
in 1861. 

On the south side of Newhouse farm is 

This hamlet is situated on the south-west of Chopwell, and 
alongside of the Derwent. Nearly the whole of the village has 
been erected during the last thirty years. The estate of Blackhall 
was held under the Crown grantees by the Rutherford family, when 
the Dudleys of Newcastle purchased Chopwell. A feud took place 
between these two families in 16 15, and which probably arose from 
some contention respecting rents and boundaries. The conse- 
quences were " John Rutheforth, or Rudderford, Gent., of Wren's 
Nest ; Charles Rutheforth, of the Blackhall ; Hugh and Gaven 
Rutheforth, and William Shafto, were outlawed for forcibly entering 
into the manor of Chopwell, with intention to kill Ambrose 
Dudley, Esq., George GifFord, and others, at a place called 
Westwood, in which affray William Shafto struck George Gifford a 
mortal wound in the thigh, of which he soon died, with an iron 



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lance." The Rutherfords fled from the face of the law. The 
Bishop, to whom the forfeiture accrued, granted their interest in 
the Blackhall to Sir Philip Constable of Everingham (15th April, 
1 615), who in the same year conveyed it to William Carr of Cocken. 
The above Charles Rutherford married Margaret, daughter of 
Thomas Swinburn of Capheaton ; but from an entry in the Ryton 
register, it would seem that he had returned when the storm was 
over, and died in his old habitation. Blackhall and Milkwell 
Burn were purchased, in 1626, by Anthony Surtees. 

Anthony Surtees was the son of Cuthbert Surtees of Ebchester. 
Robert, son of Anthony, married, in 1663, Isabella Newton, from 
whom descended the family of Surtees of Hamsterly Hall. 

Although Blackhall Mill is on the north side of the Derwent, 
only a part of the village is in Chopwell. The Derwent is the 
boundary until it reaches "The Ship" public-house, when an 
imaginary line runs along the west side of the house to a hedge 
about forty yards on the north side. From this point the line runs 
westward till it reaches the old Smelt Mill, where the Derwent is 
again the boundary. Several old houses, and one of the old Smelt 
Mills arrest the attention of the visitor. Seventy years ago, Isaac 
Cookson, Esq., employed a number of workmen in the manufacture 
of German steel. Forges and smelt mills have existed on the 
Derwent, at Blackhall Mill, from an early period. There is a 
tradition that the colonists came from Solingen, a small city on the 
WifFer, in the Duchy of Berg, which had long been noted for its 
fine elastic sword blades. At the present time Derwent Cote and 
Swalwell are the only places on the Derwent where steel is forged, 

About a quarter of a mile west of Blackhall Mill, is the Milkwell 
Burn, which flows into the Derwent, and which is the south-western 
boundary of the old parish of Ryton. 

Half a mile north of the Derwent, on the side of the Burn, is 
Blackhall, at one time the seat of the Rutherfords. Blackhall 
probably obtained its name from its situation on the edge of what 
was anciently the Black Moor, on the west side. The Hall is an 
old stone building, bearing traces of former elegance and import- 
ance. At present it is occupied by several tenants. On the east 
side of the Hall is Blackhall farm, formerly connected with the Hall. 

On the north of Blackhall is Ravenside, and north of Ravenside 
is Ash Tree, both of which are agricultural districts. 



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AXWELL PARK. 



This beautiful modern seat of the Claverings lies in Winlaton 
township, and north of the Derwent. It stands open, but not 
unsheltered, in the midst of a soft wooded park, which slopes 
gently to the Derwent, and is diversified by beautiful swells and 
undulations of ground. A number of deer add to the simple and 
rural beauties of the scene. The southern view overlooks the rich 
enclosures and hanging woods of Gibside. The east front 
commands a prospect of Derwent Bridge, and extends over part of 
the Vale of Tyne, the shipping at Newcastle quay, and the heights 
of Gateshead. 

The name Axwell is probably derived from ak = oak, and sheals — 
sheds ; sheds made from branches of oak trees. The Claverings 
transferred the name from their estate on the south side of 
the Derwent, to the park which now surrounds their present 
beautiful residence. On the plan of the Winlaton lordship (dated 
1632), there is a mansion on Springhill, which is about one 
hundred yards west of the present hall. Surtees states that 
Whitehouse, the former seat of the Claverings, stood about half a 
mile west of Axwell Hall. Surtees was evidently mistaken in the 
site of Whitehouse, as the house on Springhill was undoubtedly the 
Whitehouse of the Claverings. The father of Mr. Ralph Norton, the 
late agent to the Axwell estate, was present at the demolition of the 
old hall, after which the site was planted with trees. Whitehouse 
was surrounded by a small park comprising 30 acres. On the 
north side of the park was Newfield, 53 acres ; on the west the 
Hagg, 150 acres; on the east Lady Close, 6 acres; and 



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the Black Meres — lakes or ponds — 24 acres; and on, the 
south Broom Close, 40 acres. On the erection of Axwell Hall, all 
the above-mentioned parcels of land were enclosed in the new park. 
Axwell Hall was built by Sir Thomas Clavering, from the designs 
of Payne, and is considered by professional men to be one of that 
eminent architect's happiest efforts. Bishop Pococke, who visited 
Gibside in the year 1760, says : — " We came about two miles to 
Whickham, and saw on the left Sir Thomas Clavering's fine large 
house, the shell of which is just finished in hewn freestone." From 
what the bishop says, we may conclude that the Claverings made 
Axwell Hall their residence about the year 1761. The entrance 
into the mansion is by a hall, on the right of which, to the east, 
is the ante-chamber, or common dining-room ; in the centre of 
the east front is the best dining-room ; in the south-west angle, 
and on the left of the hall, is the withdrawing room ; and in the 
centre of the building are the staircases ; in the north-east angle 
is a small study ; beyond that, and on one side of the common 
passage, is a small room or office for business ; and on the opposite 
side of the same passage is the steward's office ; in the north-west 
angle, is the housekeeper's room, which serves also as a dining-room 
for the upper domestics ; in the intermediate part of the west front 
is the kitchen, taking in a part of the subterraneous storey, and 
rising as high as the mezzanine, the roof being substantially arched 
to prevent any disagreeable smells. The mezzanine storey is con- 
tinued over the before-mentioned part of the building and through 
the north front, in the centre of which is a passage to the laundry, 
and other subordinate offices, which, on account of the natural 
situation of the ground, are built above the level of the house, but 
entirely out of sight This mezzanine affords six good rooms for 
the upper servants of the family and those belonging to visitors. 
In the centre of the upper landing of the great stairs is the 
entrance to the ante-chamber; in the south-east angle is Lady 
Clavering's dressing room, which commands most beautiful views 
of Newcastle and the village of Whickham ; in the centre of the 
east front, are the principal family apartments, including two 
dressing-rooms; a bed-room and dressing-room occupy the 
south-west angle; in the intermediate part of the west front is 
another bedroom and a dressing-room; and in the north-west 
angle is a single bedchamber. The attic storey contains four bed- 



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rooms, with dressing-rooms to each, and three single bedrooms. 
The Hall is roofed with slates. The handsome porch, which forms 
the principal entrance, was built about twenty years after the 
erection of the mansion. Previous to that time the principal 
entrance was on the east side. A flight of steps leads to the porch,, 
and on each side there stands a small brass mounted cannon, 
placed there by the late Sir Henry A. Clavering. Above the porch, 
on the third storey, are the family arms — Quarterly : Or and Gules,, 
a bend Sable. On the south side, and at the termination of the 
carriage drive, the entrance is formed by a terrace, which runs 
along the south and east sides of the house, from which there is a 
commanding view of the wooded banks on the south of the 
Derwent. 

The Hall contains some interesting and valuable pictures, 
amongst which may be enumerated "The Raising of Lazarus,"* 
and "The Inauguration of a Bishop," by Paul Veronese; "The 
Holy Family," by Carracci; "The Passover/* by Le Seur; 
" Bentivoglio," by Titian ; " Interior of a Cathedral," by Neep and 
Tenier; "Sacking a Village," by Vander Malin; "Skating," by 
Bout; and several family portraits. The park, which comprises 
270 acres, is enclosed by a wall. The house is approached by two 
carriage drives — one at Shibdon, on the north side of the park, the 
other at Derwent Bridge, on the east side. The drive from the 
direction of Swalwell (via Derwent Bridge) is especially worthy of 
notice. From the entrance gates to the house it winds under the 
branches of ancestral trees, through the vistas of which the deer 
may be seen bounding over velvety turf or bushes, or among the 
tall brackens, where they often seek refuge from the burning rays 
of the sun. After passing an ornamental bridge and turning a 
gentle curve, a splendid view of the house is obtained, which, from 
the gentle style of its architecture, has a very imposing effect. On 
the west side of the house are the stables, neatly and compactly 
built, terminating at each end by a lower tower ; in the centre is a 
high tower, in which is placed a clock. A gentle drive from the 
north side leads to the large and beautiful gardens and greenhouses, 
which have always been a great attraction to those living in the 
neighbourhood privileged to visit them. West of the gardens 
is the " Home " farm and the old joiner's shop. Formerly there 
stood on the north side of the lake a house covered with shells,. 



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and known as the "Shell House," which, having fallen into a 
state of decay, was set on fire by the late Sir H. A. Clavering, 
and burnt to the ground 22nd March, 1876. 

At the west end of the park is "Park Villa, n formerly the 
residence of the steward of the estate, and at present occupied by 
Mr. Thomas Metcalfe. On a hill, hidden by trees, about two 
hundred yards south-west of the hall, there are the remains of a 
building known as "The Temple," built by Lady Clavering during 
her husband's detention in France by Napoleon, at the beginning 
of the century. The structure is semi-circular in form, its height 
about 16 feet and diameter inside 20 feet At the entrance 
stand three polished pillars. Whatever the building may have 
been intended for, it was never finished, and to-day lies in ruins. 
The park contains several very fine trees, including a Sycamore 
four hundred yards N.E. of Hall, girth at a height of 5 feet, 15 feet 

4 inches, spread of branches 28 yards, height 65 feet ; a Lime, near 
to joiner's shop, girth at a height of 5 feet, 13 feet^height 101 feet; 
an Oak, two hundred yards west of Hall, girth at a height of 4 feet, 
17 feet, spread of branches 22 yards, height 44 feet ; an Oak, four 
hundred yards S.W. of Hall, girth at a height of 5 feet, 14 feet 

5 inches, spread of branches 34 yards, height 59 feet 6 inches ; a 
Beech, three hundred yards E. of Hall, girth at a height of 5 feet, 
13 feet, height 55 feet; Beech, one yard W. of Park Wall on the 
west side, girth at a height of 5 feet, 13 feet 10 inches, height 55 feet; 
Ash, three hundred and thirty yards N.E. of Hall, girth at a height 
of 5 feet, 13 feet 10 inches, spread of branches 18 yards, height 
60 feet; Sycamore, about four hundred and seventy yards S.E. of 
Hall, girth at a height of 5 feet, 13 feet 7 inches, spread of branches 
20 yards, height 65 feet. Several large trees have lately been 
destroyed by storms. In the year 1763, March nth, as some men 
were digging in the park, they discovered an urn with a little dust 
in it, and by going further they found a large stone coffin, in which 
was a skull with the teeth very fresh, and several bones of a great 
size. It is not known in what part of the grounds the coffin was 
found, and it is uncertain what became of it. Axwell Park 
contains within its area the old Whitehouse Park, the seat of the 
Selbys and the Claverings, until the present Hall was built. 

The Selbys, as already noticed, were extensive landowners in 
Winlaton. A branch of this influential family settled at Old 



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Axwell, on the south side of the Demerit, as early as the middle 
of the 1 6th century, afterwards removing to Whitehouse, on the 
north side. 

Sir William Selby, sometimes described of Bolam and Shortflatt 
Tower, County of Northumberland, is also described of Winlaton. 
He was buried at Ryton, 3rd April, 1649. 

Sir George Selby, created a baronet 3rd March, 1664, and 
buried at St. Nicholas, 16th September, 1668, is described of 
Whitehouse and sometimes Winlaton. 

Mr. Charles Selby of Winlaton, was buried at Ryton, 29th May, 
1668. 

Thomas Selby of Winlaton, was married to Susan Heslerigg, in 
March, 1670. 

Five individuals of the Selby family obtained the honour of 
knighthood from King James. Sir William Selby of Biddlestone ; 
Sir George, the King's host ; Sir William of Winlaton ; another Sir 
William of the Mote, Ightham, Kent; and Sir John Selby of 
Twizel. 

The Whitehouse Estate was probably considered too small to 
give a name to it, hence the residence of the Selbys is described as 
Winlaton. 

In the year 1749, Whitehouse Park still retained the old name, 
and it was not until the erection of the present hall that the old 
park disappeared in the newer and larger one, Axwell. 



The Claverings. 

The family of Clavering derive their descent in the male line from 
Charlemagne. The original family name is De Burgh, which was 
resumed by the Marquis of Clanricarde in 1752. Eustace de 
Burgh, a noble Norman, had two sons, who came over with William 
the Conquerer. Serlo, who built Knaresborough Castle, died 
without issue; but his brother, John, had three sons, whose 
descendants became connected with the noblest houses in England. 
One branch of the family became barons of Warkworth, of whom 
Eustace de Vescy was one of the competitors for the Crown of 
Scotland. The surname of Clavering was given by King 
Edward I. from Clavering in Essex, which was the chief estate of 



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Robert Fitz Roger, Lord Clavering, Baron of Warkworth and 
Clavering. Robert Clavering, son and heir of John Clavering and 
Elizabeth Fenwick, married Ann, daughter of Sir Thomas Grey of 
Horton Castle, Northumberland, from which last are descended the 
family of Clavering of Axwell Park. James, son of Robert 
Clavering and Ann Grey, was sheriff of Newcastle in 1599, and 
mayor in 1607 and 1618. His son, John Clavering, Esq., of 
Axwell, also served the offices of sheriff and mayor of Newcastle. 
He married Ann, daughter of Robert Shafto, alderman of New- 



Sir Henry A. Clavering, Bart. 

castle, widow of Robert Tempest. He was buried 6th of May, 
1648. This John Clavering seems to have been the first member 
of the family to make (Old) Axwell, in the parish of Whickham, his 
residence. James, the eldest son of John Clavering, married Jane, 
daughter and heiress of Charles Maddison, Esq., of Saltwellside. 
He was high sheriff of the County of Durham in 1650; but in 
1656 it would seem that he was an object of suspicion to the 



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government, for in the information of Lady Hall, dated 7th 
November, 1656, it is stated that one Mr. Clavering of Axwell, in 
the County of Durham, who was chosen a member of this present 
parliament, but not admitted, did lend to Charles Stuart ^4,000, 
since March last. In the following year, however, the church- 
wardens' book of Gateshead shows that he had at least set out for 
the purpose of attending his public duty, as one of the charges to 
the parish is for one gallon of mulled sack, had of Mr. Watson, 
bestowed on Mr. James Clavering, Justice of Peace, at his taking 
journey to parliament He was created a baronet 5th June, 1661, 
and stood an unsuccessful contest for the county in 1675. He 
was buried at Whickham 24th March, 1 701-2, aged 82 years. 

About the year 1670, the Greencroft estate came into the 
possession of the Claverings. James Clavering was succeeded by 
his grandson James, in 1702, and at his death, in 1707, his 
brother, John Clavering, became the third baronet. He died in 
17 14. In 1735, under date February 22nd, Sykes says: — "Died 
at Newcastle, Dame Jane Clavering, widow and relict of Sir John 
Clavering of Axwell Park, aged 66 years ; a lady of most exemplary 
life and unbounded charity. Her ladyship left by will ^50 to the 
poor of each of the four parishes in Newcastle, and ^60 to the 
charity school in St. John's parish. The residue of her estate, 
amounting to ^120,000 and upwards, devolved upon her 
ladyship's two daughters. Her corpse was interred in St. Nicholas* 
church, upon which occasion, pursuant to her own directions, an 
excellent sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. John Ellison. 
The funeral procession was very magnificent, the pall being 
supported by eight gentlemen of distinction. Before the corpse 
went the master and charity boys of St. John's, followed by the 
beadles, several mourners with cloaks, and eight of her ladyship's 
servants in full mourning, without cloaks ; next after the corpse 
went a great number of gentlemen and clergy, as mourners ; then 
walked the mayor and aldermen with their regalia and ensigns of 
honour and after them most of the gentlemen in the town and 
adjacent country with scarfs, &c. ; after which followed her lady- 
ship's coach, in deep mourning, succeeded by many others." 

John Clavering was succeeded by his son, Sir James Clavering ; 
baptized August 3rd, 1708, and died May 18th, 1726. The title 
next devolved on his uncle, Francis Clavering, who died without 

13 



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issue in 1738, and was succeeded by his cousin, Sir James, sixth 
baronet. He died May 1 2th, 1 748. Although the Claverings had 
been active and distinguished partisans of the Stuarts during the 
great Civil War, they were strong and vigilant supporters of the 
Government in the Rebellions of 17 15 and 1745 ; in fact, it was 
chiefly due to their watchfulness that the Government was apprised 
of the proceedings of the Northern Jacobites. In the " Rising of 
1745," Sir Thomas Clavering raised a troop of horse militia at his 
own expense. Sir James Clavering had by his first wife, Catherine, 
daughter of Thomas York, Esq., one son, Thomas, by whom he was 
succeeded. He was baptized June 19th, 17 18. He was M.P for 
Shaftesbury in 1754, and for the County of Durham in 1768, 1774, 
1780, and 1784. He unsuccessfully contested the county in 
1760, when John Wesley used his influence in Sir Thomas' favour, 
by writing the following letter to his friends : — " 20th November, 
1760. — I desire earnestly all who love me to assist him, to use the 
utmost of their power; what they do, let them do it with all their 
might; let not sloth nor indolence hurt a good cause, only let 
them not rail at the other candidates. They may act earnestly, 
yet civilly. Let all your doings be done in charity ; and at the 
peril of your souls receive no bribe ; do your duty without being 
tired. God will repay you both in this world and to come." 
Sir Thomas Clavering married Martha, daughter of Joshua 
Douglas of Newcastle, and died without issue October 14th, 1794. 
2. George Clavering, Esq., of Greencroft, who by Mary, daughter 
of fcthe Rev. Mr. Palmer of Comb, Rawleigh, Devonshire, and 
relict of Sir John Home, Bart, left a son, eighth baronet. 3. Sir 
John Clavering, K.B., Major-General in the Army, Commander-in- 
Chief in the East Indies, Governor of Berwick, and Colonel of 
the 52nd Foot. He began his career in the .Coldstream Guards, 
and was sent with General Barrington to take the French island of 
Guadaloupe. He is said to have displayed great skill and bravery 
on the occasion of taking the island, which elicited the highest 
admiration from his friends in the North of England in learning 
the news. The local papers of June 17th, 1759, contain the 
following account of the reception of the news : — " On the arrival 
of the agreeable and welcome news at Newcastle of the reduction 
of Guadaloupe, on the 21st of the preceding April, the bells were 
immediately rung, and the day was concluded with every demon- 



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stration of joy. The news was particularly pleasing at Newcastle, 
as the brave Colonel Clavering, who brought home the dispatches 
was of that neighbourhood, and whose relatives were complimented 
on his account. The colonel had greatly distinguished himself on 
the occasion." 

On the appointment of Warren Hastings as Governor-General 
of Bengal, Sir John Clavering was one of the four persons appointed 
to constitute a Council to act with him. He received as a 
councillor ;£i 0,000 a year, He was to command the Bengal 
army, and to be next in rank to Hastings; but the Governor- 
General and the Council could not agree. Sir John Clavering 
fought a duel with one Barwell, a friend of Hastings ; and he and 
Hastings nearly came to grief in a similar manner. 

Sir John was a man of great ability and sterling integrity. He 
undoubtedly was the most distinguished member of the family of 
Claverings of Axwell and Greencroft ; but his abilities seem not to 
have been appraised at their true value in India, and after much 
worry and many disappointments, he diecl at Calcutta, August 30th, 
1777, aged 55 years. 

Sir Thomas John Clavering of Axwell Park, son of George 
Clavering and Mary Palmer, born April 6th, 1771, married 
August 2 1 st, 1 791, Clara, daughter of John de Gallais, Count-de 
la-Sable of Anjou, by whom he had issue William Aloysius, born 
January 21st, 1800; Clara Ann Martha, married February 8th, 
1826, to General Baron de Knyff of Brussels; and Agatha 
Catherine, married February 12th, 182 1, to the Baron de Mont- 
faucon of Avignon. 

In 1798, Sir Thomas Clavering raised, at his own expense, 
a troop of yeomanry known as the Tyne Hussars. Sir Thomas 
Burdon was colonel, and Mr. William Lockey, land agent to Sir 
Thomas Clavering, was captain of the troop. The cavalry was 
composed of men who lived at Swalwell, Whickham, Winlaton 
Mill, and Sir Thomas's tenantry at Axwell Park. The regiment 
was extremely popular in the neighbourhood, which in a great 
measure was due to the geniality and the commanding presence 
of its captain. His sword, and a handsome silver cup, presented to 
him, are still preserved by one of his descendants at Whickham, 
The cup bears the following inscription : — 



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180 

Presented to 

Capt. Willm. Lockey, 

by the Axwell Park Troop of Volunteer Cavalry, 

1815. 

At the time of the "False Alarm" (January 31st, 1803), when 
it was reported that Buonaparte was ready to invade England, the 
people of Blaydon, Swalwell, &c, had a great many carts and 
rolleys to carry their furniture and goods to Alston Moor for 
safety; but Captain Lockey, at the head of his gallant cavalry, 
disarmed their fears, and they returned to their respective homes. 

Sir Thomas lived chiefly at Greencroft, devoting his time to the 
improvement of his estates. He was held in high esteem by his 
tenantry. On the 20th October, 1845, tne tenants met him at 
Greencroft and presented him with a full-length portrait of himself, 
executed by Hastings of Durham, as a token of their respect. 
The painting is now among the family pictures at Axwell Park. 
Sir Thomas died at Clifton, on November 4th, 1853, at the ripe 
age of 83 years, and was buried at Greencroft. 

Having paid a visit to France soon after the peace of Amiens, 
Sir Thomas was detained by Buonaparte from the rupture of that 
treaty until 18 14, and a singular dispute arose in 1854 as to 
whether his children born in that country were entitled to a share 
in the property left by his father, George Clavering, that gentleman 
having expressly excluded any descendants of his son that should 
not be members of the Church of England or that might be born 
or educated abroad. William, the only surviving son of Sir 
Thomas, was the sole person entitled to claim under the strict 
letter of the will. Lengthened litigation ensued as to whether the 
terms of the will had been broken by the heir having been born 
abroad, but, ultimately, the son of Sir Thomas was adjudged the 
legal claimant to the title and estates of the family. 

Sir William Aloysius Clavering seldom visited Axwell Park, the 
most of his time being spent in London and on the continent, 
He died unmarried in 1872, and was buried at Greencroft. He 
was succeeded by his cousin, Sir Henry Augustus Clavering, son 
of Rawdon Clavering, Esq., born 30th August, 1824, and was 
educated at the Royal Naval College. He was with Sir Charles 
Napier on the coast of Syria in 1840, was present at the siege of 



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Jean D'Acre, and held a medal for the gallant part he took in those 
events. He married a daughter of the late Andrew Alexander, LL.D., 
Professor of Greek at St. Andrew's University, who survives 
him. Sir Henry made Axwell his residence, and during the 
latter years of his life was never away from it. He took no part 
in national or public affairs, but devoted his time to the beautifying 
of his charming residence. He died on the 9th of November, 1893, 
aged 69 years, and was interred at Blaydon Cemetery in a new 
vault built by Sir Henry during his lifetime. He was the tenth and 
last baronet, and his death terminated the male line of one of the 
oldest, most influential, and far-branching of the county families in 
England. 

The Rev. John Warren Napier, Vicar of Stretton, South 
Staffordshire, third son of the Hon. Charles Napier, and grandson 
of Frances, Baron Napier, in the peerage of Scotland, succeeded 
to the estates in 1893, on which he assumed the name of Clavering, 
in accordance with the will of Sir William Aloysius Clavering, 
This gentleman now lives at Axwell Park. 

On the north side of Axwell Park there is an extensive tract Of 
land bordering the river Tyne. Part of it is a marsh or swamp 
called the Strothers, and as the bog produces nothing but rushes, 
it is the resort of water-fowl, among which may be mentioned the 
Snipe, Golden Plover, Water Hen, Red Shank, and Water Rail. 
The last Water Rail was shot in 1892. 

On the west side of Axwell Park is the Hagg, which signifies the 
broken ground in a bog. 

" He led a small and shaggy nag, 
That through a bog from hag to hag." 

— Lay of the Last Minstrel, 

There is at the Hagg a neat house, the residence of Mr. Thomas 
Battensby, one of the agents of the Axwell estate. A pleasant 
path from the house leads to the Shotley Bridge turnpike at the 
foot of the hilL Formerly there was at this spot a well-known 
sulphur spring, known as the " Spa Well," but unfortunately the 
water disappeared a few years ago, to the regret of the multitude 
of visitors to the Derwent. A short walk along the south side 
of Axwell Park brings the visitor to Derwent Bridge. On 
the north side of the bridge, and the east side of the Blaydon 



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turnpike, is "Bates' House." On the plan of the Winlaton 
lordship (1632) there is a mansion which stood on the east side of 
the present farm-house, with a park on the south side stretching 
to the Derwent. Bates lived in the house at that time. It is 
uncertain what social position Bates occupied in the world, but an 
old woman who died some years ago remembered the ruins of the 
old hall, which were of considerable dimensions, and had been 
the residence of a man of wealth and influence. 

Two old white-washed cottages stand on the west side of the 
farm, and were probably connected with Bates' House in the olden 
time. It was here that Cuthbert Houston lived. He was a 
cripple from his birth, and notwithstanding his infirmities he was 
a frequent contributor to the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, Being 
unable to walk, he was wheeled in a perambulator along the side 
of the Derwent, where he enjoyed the sunshine, the flowers, and 
the music of the birds. But his life was short; he died on 
February 15th, 1877, aged 19 years. He rests in Whickham 
churchyard. A neat stone, subscribed for by Mr. Joseph Cowen 
and other friends, including many of the contributors to the 
Weekly Chronicle, marks his resting-place. 

From Derwent Bridge a commanding view of the Derwent and 
Axwell Park is obtained, and in the moonlight the scene is 
delightful. The bridge, which was built of stone from a quarry 
belonging to Sir Thomas Clavering, was opened in 1760. After 
leaving the bridge you pass along an avenue of trees, at the end 
of which is the <c Clavering Arms " public-house. Previous to the 
erection of the Scotswood Suspension Bridge, this avenue formed 
the carriage drive from Axwell, before reaching the Hexham turn- 
pike, to Newcastle. The trees are sometimes called the " Crow 
Trees," on account of the crows formerly building their nests 
there. Swalwell Bridge is next reached, which formerly was the 
the south-east boundary of the township of Winlaton. 

On the north side of the mill-race are the paper mills belonging 
to Messrs. Wm. Grace & Co., which occupy part of the site of the 
factory established by Sir Ambrose Crowley about the year 1700. 
On the west side of the paper mills are substantial houses, built 
for the workmen. They occupy the site of a row of very old 
houses once inhabited by Crowley's workmen, and known as 
"Cuckold's Raw." The word Cuckold, according to Bailey, 



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183 

formerly signified a man whose wife's adulterous conduct is 
said to have grafted horns on his head. From the name, 
evidently the place was one of evil repute. On the north side of 
the paper mill are the gardens cultivated by the working-men of 
Swalwell. Seventy years ago, the land was used as a cinder-heap 
for Crowley's factory, but since that time the workmen have made 
the spot to blossom as the rose. Formerly the boundary line 
between the Winlaton township and Whickham parish ran from 
the Stone Bridge along the Hexham turnpike to the Keelmen's 
Bridge, where it took the middle of the dam to the east side of 
Errington Terrace ; it there made a northern course till it reached 
the north side of the field lying along the Derwent side, it then 
ran eastward to the east hedge, when it returned to the dam. On 
the 31st March, 1896, the boundary was altered. Now the line 
runs from the east side of the Railway Station to the Derwent, 
then proceeding eastward to the point where the Derwent and the 
Mill Race meet. The field known as the Preste's, or Priest's, field, 
although on the north side of the dam, is in Whickham parish, 
and is ecclesiastical property. A pleasant walk through the 
gardens to the Shotley Bridge turnpike, and proceeding northward, 
in a few minutes the visitor reaches Derwenthaugh. 

This hamlet stands on the south bank of the Tyne and west 
of the Derwent, at the point where the tributary empties itself into 
the Tyne. The word Haugh signifies a meadow lying in a valley, 
and is a noted surname on the south side of the Tyne. 

Derwent Haugh is one of the oldest villages in the North of 
England. In the year 1724 there were at this place staiths 
belonging to several coal-owners, namely, Sir James Clavering, 
George Pitt, Mr. Blakston, and Mr. Shafto. Stathe, stade, and 
steed, are Anglo-Saxon terms, formerly applied to single fixed 
dwellings, or to places on the banks of rivers where merchandise 
was stored up, and at which vessels could lie to receive it These 
places were also formerly called dikes, probably on account of their 
being diked or defended from the river, for dike in the North of 
England has always a mixed meaning between defence and limit, 
but probably the word dike has reference only to those repositories 
for coal which were uncovered. The staiths were afterwards 
provided with roofs, under which coals were deposited in bad 
seasons of trade, and with stages and spouts from which they are 



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184 

poured into keels when the demand for them was immediate. 
Great quantities of coals were brought from Whickham, Spen, 
Thornley, and the neighbourhood of Pontop at the beginning of 
the eighteenth century, to the staiths. Before the introduction of 
waggon-ways, coals were conveyed in panniers hung over the backs 
of horses, and afterwards in wains or bulky carts. Several of the 
old coal-ways may still be seen on both sides of the Derwent 
One may be traced on the south side of Landswood, on the north 
side of Winlaton Mill, which proceeded along the south side of the 
Hagg, through the low ground of Axwell Park, and afterwards to 
the staiths. A man named George Potts of Bates' House, was 
killed by the upsetting of a waggon or wain on this old coalway in 
1 710. Another commenced in the neighbourhood of Hollinside 
and proceeded by Old Axwell and Woodhouse to Swalwell and 
Derwenthaugh. When waggon-ways were adopted at the end of 
the 17th century, the line of way from Pontop to Derwenthaugh 
was called the Main Way, other smaller lines being connected 
with it. Hutchinson describes this waggon-way as the most 
expensive that had been made. The rails were of wood and the 
waggon wheels were of the same material. The following account 
furnishes us with the cost of the material for the construction of 
the old railways : — 

Per Main Way. 
Received George Bowes, Esq. 

£ s. d. 

4917 Sleepers at 8d. ... 163 18 o 

4282 Yards of Rails at 6d 107 1 o 



Totus ... ... ... 270 19 o 



May 2nd, 1723. 

According to Hutchinson — In the year 1794, about 62,000 
Newcastle chaldrons of coals were yearly received at Derwenthaugh, 
to work, lead, and deliver, at which upwards of 600 men and boys 
were employed, and about 400 horses, together with 200 keelmen 
to navigate them down the river to the shipping below the bridge. 

The cost of bringing a waggon of coals from Pontop to Derwent- 
haugh was 2s. 3d. Keels received the coals at the Staiths. Keels 



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18.5 

in bygone times were strong, oval, and clumsy-looking vessels. 
Probably the name is derived from the keles of the Greeks and the 
clax of the Romans, a small swift-sailing vessel. The keel was 
sometimes navigated by a square sail, but generally by two long 
oars. When by contrary winds neither sails nor oars could be used, 
the keel was pushed forward through the shallow parts of the river 
by a long pole called the pooey, fixed against the bed of the river 
and the keelman's shoulder, while they walked on each gunnel 
from head to stern, in a strong, stooping position. The keel was 
navigated by two men and a lad called the Pe-dee. The keelmen 
were a strong, hardy, and industrious class of men, but much given 
to indulge in the intoxicating cup ; they earned their money with 
difficulty, and spent it with corresponding recklessness. Of late 
years, however, a considerable improvement has taken place in 
their modes of life, and many of them now are sober, active, and 
intelligent. A curious custom at one time prevailed among the 
keelmen. Every time they led a keel of coals from the staith or 
dike, they got a " can," or an allowance of ale, equal in value to 
2S. 6d., and when the number of keelmen was considerable and 
trade flourished, the stormy scenes that took place in the " Skiff" 
public house at Derwenthaugh, may be more easily imagined than 
described ; but the increased facilities offered by steam communi- 
cation on both land and water have considerably injured their 
trade, and their numbers are consequently diminishing. Formerly 
the villages of Whickham, Swalwell, and Derwenthaugh were 
composed mostly of keelmen, to-day their number is not more 
than twenty. There are at the present time at Derwenthaugh, on 
the west side, coke ovens and a staith belonging to the Stella Coal 
Company, also a lofty building in a ruinous condition, at one time 
used as a malt house. There is also a large house used by Mr 
Joseph Cowen for an office, which fifty years ago was the residence 
of Mr. G. H. Ramsay ; one of the old staiths is still used by the 
Consett Iron Company for the coals brought from the Spen 
(Garesfield) Colliery. There is a third staith belonging to Mr. 
Joseph Cowen, while eastward stands the disused bone mill and 
guano works which once flourished under the direction of Mr. 
Ramsay. On the east side are the coke ovens belonging to Mr. 
Joseph Cowen. On the west side of the Derwent may be seen the 
remains of some of the staiths of the 17th century. 



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186 

At the end of a row of houses running in a line with the railway is 
a public house, the Skiff Inn, which fifty years ago was occupied by 
Harry (Henry) Clasper, the renowned oarsman, and in front of the 
house, alongside of a large pond, stood his boat-building establish- 
ment. "Harry" Clasper was born at Dunston, July 12th, 181 2. 
When young, his parents removed to Jarrow, and Harry was sent to 
work in the pits. After a time he returned* to Dunston and worked 
as a cinder-burner at Derwenthaugh ; and when about twenty years 
of age he became a wherryman for the same firm (Garesfield), 
removed to the scene of his future triumphs, and became the host 
of the Skiff Inn. One of his earliest attempts at boat-building was 
the " Five Brothers," which he built at nights after his day's work 
was done. In this boat, the crew, consisting of Harry, Robert, 
William, Edward, and Richard, he was for years victorious at the 
annual gala on the Tyne, commonly known as " Barge Thursday." 
On the 1 6th June, 1842, the Clasper brothers were defeated on 
the Tyne by a London crew named Newall, Coombes, and J. and 
R. Doubledee. The Clasper brothers on this occasion rowed in 
the "St. Agnes" (No. 1), built by John Dobson of Hillgate, which 
was a clumsy and unwieldy boat, and no doubt contributed not a 
little to the defeat of the Clasper brothers. Harry, who had 
improved the shape of the skiff, and had built "The Hawk" in 
1840, and "The Young Hawk" in 1841, with which he won at 
Durham Regatta in 1842, now set about improving the four-oared 
boat On December 18th, 1844, he was defeated by Robert 
Coombes of London, in a skiff race on the Tyne for ;£ioo. In 
1845, his new four-oared boat, named "The Lord Ravensworth," 
was finished, and on June 26th, at the Thames Regatta, Harry, 
with his brothers William and Robert, and his uncle Edward 
Hawks, won the champion prize of ;£ioo, and for the first time 
the championship of the world was wrested from the Thames. 
On the 29th of September, 1845, Harry defeated Thomas Carrol on 
the Mersey; and on November 25th, defeated W. Pocock of 
London on the Tyne, each match being for ^200 ; in the same 
year he won the skiff race in " The Hornet," at Shields Regatta. 
Early in the following year, 1846, he was defeated on the Tyne by 
Robert Newall in a match for ^200 ; and on the 2nd November, 
1847, by Anthony Maddison, in a race for ^200. In 1848, in 
the famous "St. Agnes" (No. 2), Harry and his brothers, with 



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187 

J. Wilkinson, won the champion prize on the Thames. On July 
2nd, 1849, at tne Royal Thames Regatta, the champion prize for 
four-oared boats was again won by the "St. Agnes," the crew of which 
consisted of Robert and Harry Clasper, and R. and S. Coombes 
of London. In 1849 Harry removed from Derwenthaugh to 
The Close, Newcastle. On the 9th September, 185 1, he and James 
Candlish rowed on the Tyne for ;£ioo a side; a collision took 
place, when Candlish claimed and obtained the stakes. On the 
1st January, 1853, " Harry," with his brothers, were defeated by 
the celebrated Elswick crew, namely, Oliver, Bruce, Winship, and 
Spoor. On the 8th August, 1854, at the Thames National Regatta, 
the champion four-oared race of ;£ioo, was won by the Elswick 
crew ; the eight-oared race was won by a crew exclusively composed 
of Newcastle men ; a match for ;£ioo, between Robert Newall and 
Harry Clasper, was won by the latter ; the Clasper crew gained the 
landsmen's prize, and Harry Clasper, with Pocock of London, won 
the waterman's pair-oared match. This was the last time the 
Clasper brothers rowed together, the name of the boat being the 
"Lady Kilmorney." On July 22, 1858, Harry won the champion- 
ship of Scotland, defeating Robert Campbell for ^200, and again 
defeated him on October 6th, in another match for ^200, on 
Loch Lomond ; but on November 9th, 1858, he was beaten by 
Thomas White on the Thames, in a match for ^200. He took 
part in several races afterwards, but age began to tell upon him, 
and meeting younger men, success did not crown his efforts. He 
was closely associated with the famous champion, Robert Chambers, 
in the early part of "Honest Bob's" career, and died on July 12th, 
1870. On the Sunday following, his remains were brought by river 
to Derwenthaugh, after which they were conveyed to Whickham 
Churchyard, followed by a multitude of people such as has never 
been seen in the quiet village before or since. The boathouse at 
Derwenthaugh has been removed, and the pond filled up, and at 
the present time nothing remains to indicate the site of the once 
famous establishment. 

Three hundred yards west of Derwenthaugh is the Suspension 
Bridge, connecting the township of Winlaton with Scotswood. 
Previous to the erection of the bridge, the old turnpike road through 
Swalwell, was the only way to Newcastle. The bridge was opened 
April 1 2th, 1 83 1. It is 630 feet in length, the distance between the 



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two points of suspension being 370 feet, with two half-arcs of 230 
feet each ; the roadway rises in the centre about eight feet, causing 
the bridge to assume a curved line of a graceful and pleasing effect ; 
the carriage-way is 17 J feet. On July 21st, 1829, the first freight of 
stones for the masonry was conveyed to the site of the bridge, and 
the foundation stone laid on the 9th of February, 1830. The 
first chain was suspended across the river on the 23rd February, 
and the last on the 5 th March, 1831. 




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INDEX, 



Addison Colliery, 62 , 
Amen Corner, 137 
Armstrong, Charles, 104 
Anderson, 49 
Axwell Park, 171 
Axwell, Old, 176 
Bagnal, 129, 137 
Barmoor, 43 
Barlow, 159 
Bates' House, 182 
Battle of Stella Haughs, 74 
Bede Lodge, 165 
Belt, Robert, 130 
Bells, 6, 103, 140 
Birk Gate, 149 
Blacket, Sir William, 115 
Blackball Mill, 163 
Blaydon, 99 

— Burn, 152 
Bleachgreen, 130 
Boxing, 160 
Bradley, 48 

— Hall, 48 

Braes of Derwent, 153 
Brockwell, 152 
Broomfield, 166 
Brown, Dr., 109 , 
Brown, Rev. William, 104 
Bucksnook, 58 
Bues Hills, 52 
Bullbaiting, 124 



Bulman, Joseph, 166 
Bunny, 18 
Burn Hill, 60 
Casson, Hodgson, 131 
Castlehill, 47 
Cave, 19 

Chancer, Thomas, 28, 33 
Chare, 47 
Charities, 30 
Chartists, 126 
Chopwell, 164 
Claraville, 47 
Clasper, Henry, 186 
Claveriog, Family of, 175 
Clavering Arms, 182 
Coalburns, 57 
Cockfighting, 124, 151 
"Coffee Johnney," 136 
Congregational Church, 134 
Conway, Lord, 75 
Cromwell, Oliver, 80, 149 
Crowley, Sir Ambrose, 116 
Crowley's Court, 120 

— Crew, 124 

— Poor, 120 
Cowen, Jane, 96 

— John, 137, 153 

— Sir Joseph, 90 

— Joseph, 2, 38, 52, 92, 128, 137 

— William, 136, 153 
Cross, 26, 33, 90 



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Cuckold's Raw, 182 
Curfew, 118, 149 
Daniel Farm, 48 
Derwenthaugh, 183 
Derwentwater, Lord, 66 
Dockendale, 100 
Dunn, Archibald, 47 

— Sarah H, 47 

— William M., 62 
Easten, 9 

Edington, Robert, 59, 81 
Elliot, Sir George, 48 
Elvaston Hall, 35 
Emma Pit, 44 
Emmerson, Edward, 82 

— John, 126 

— Thomas, 97 
Eyre, 71, 89 
Folly Pit, 54 
Forts, 77 

Foster, Anthony, 153 

— Clark, 153 

— General, 66 
Freemasons, 127 
Galley, 81, 98 
Galloway, Robert L., 38 
Game, J. 0., 37 
Gilpin, Bernard, 5 
Glebe Pit, 60 

Grace, H. W., 132 

— William, 182 
Greenflide, 54 
Hagg, 51, 181 
Hall, James, 54 

— Thomas Y., 55 
Hassocks, 76 
Haugh, 183 
Hauxley, John, 36 
Heavygate, 166 
Hedgefield, 61 
Hedley Fell, 136 
Heppel, 143 



Hindmarsh, James, 37 
Hindhaugh, 36 
Hirings, 33 
Hodgson, Family of, 114 

— Thomas, 91, 137 
Holburn Dene, 38 
Hopper, Christopher, 58 
Horsecrofts, 100, 105 
Horsegate, 166 
Houston, Cuthbert, 182 
Hugergate, 162 

Image Hill, 74 
Independents, 39 
Jenison, Henry, 60 
Keels, 185 
Kenmure, Lord, 68 
Kepyer, 47 
Eielder Castle, 144 
Kossuth, 73 
Kyo, 57 
Lamb, Humble, 39 

— Joseph, 39 
Lambton, 15, 64 
Lang Jack, 149 
Laurel Leaf, 98 
Laycock, Joseph, 128, 132 
Leadgate, 59 

Lily Crook, 157 

— Drift, 163 
Lincoln, 73 
Lockey, Capt., 179 
Lock haugh, 148 
Market, 123 
Marmion, 60 
Martinson, 61 
Mazzini, 73, 94 
Milkwell Burn, 169 
Mirehouse, 25 
Napoleon, 82 

Napier, Rer. J. W., 181 
Newburn, 76 
Newhouse, 166 



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Newton, Anthony, 90 

Nicholson, T. C, 109, 118, 157 

Neville's Cross, 33 

Old well Lane, 131 

Orsini, 73 

Parish Hall, 35 

Parkhead Hall, 143 

Payne, 73 

Penny Hill, 59 

Pethhead, 52 

Plague, The, 116 

Post Boy, 116 

Queen Elizabeth, 84 

— Philippa, 33 
Quern, 112 
Races, 80, 136 
Raine, 148 

Ramsay, George H., 143 

— George R., 144 

— John, 143 

— Thomas, 153 
Ravenside, 169 
Eavensworth, Lady, 48 

— Lord, 48, 50 
Realy-Mires, 60 
Rectors, 17 
Register, 20 
Renwick, William, 135 
Ricklis Farm, 60 
Ritchie, Rev. Dr., 93 
Rockwood, 60 
Rotheram, John, 19 
Rowlands Gill, 163 
Runhead, 38 
Rutherford, Dr., 73 
Rutherford, Family of, 168 
Ryton, 1 

— Church, 3 

— Cross, 33 

— Ferry, 40 

— House, 39 

— Lawn, 38 



Ryton Village, 35 
Saltmarket, 135 
Sandhill, 126 
Saunders, 9, 43 
Savings Bank, 38 
Scaur Head, 148 
Schmalz, Herbert, 39 
Seeker, Thomas, 19 
Selby, 114, 174 
Selby's Grave, 158 
Simpson, John, 50 

— John B., 50, 62 
Silverhill, 101 
Silvertop, 81 
Smailes Lane, 163 
Snooks Hill, 156 
Sourmires, 50 
Spen, High, 161 

— Low, 162 
Spencer, Thomas, 35 
Spring Hill, 171 
Square, 131 
Staith, 183 
Stanley Barn, 51 
Stargate, 52 
Stella, 63 

— Chapel, 87 

— Hall, 71 

— House, 81 

— Staiths, 85 
Stephen's Hall, 52 
Stints, 42 

Stirling. Robert, 163 
Stocks, 26 
Strothers, 181 
Summerhouse Hill, 74 
Surtees, Anthony, 169 

— Robert, 36 
Suspension Bridge, 187 
Tablet*, Memorial, 9, 104, 139 
Tapestry, 73 

Terry, Ellen, 143 



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Thompson, Canon, 61 

— Messrs., 129 

— J. W., 137 
Thornley, 156 
Thorp, 9, 11, 14, 15 
Tongue Burn, 165 
Towneley, 71 
Tumulus, 29 
Volunteers, 137 
Wallace, Sir William, 31 

— Terrace, 37 
Wallis, Owen, 50 
Wardell, R. H., 140 

— Charles C, 142 
Weeks, Richard M., 38, 92 



Wesley, Charles, 37 

— John, 46, 56, 160, 162, 178 
Westwood, 60 
Whitefield, 59 
Whitehouse, 38, 171, 175 
Whitewell Lane, 35 
Widdrington, Family of, 65 
Winlaton, 111 

— Cemetery, 142 

— Church, 138 

— Hall, 118, 132 
Winlaton Mill, 147 
Wood, Nicholas, 50 
Woodside, 60 
Young, Robert, 46 



G. AND T. COWARD, PRINTERS, CARLISLE. 



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